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Technical Report Evaluating Seat Belt Pretensioners and Load Limiters

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Technical Report Evaluating Seat Belt Pretensioners and Load Limiters

James F. Simons
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
December 27, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 249 (Friday, December 27, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 79074-79075]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-31024]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2013-0130]


Technical Report Evaluating Seat Belt Pretensioners and Load 
Limiters

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 
Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Request for comments on technical report.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This notice announces NHTSA's publication of a technical 
report evaluating the effectiveness of pretensioners and load limiters 
for seat belts in the front seats of passenger cars and LTVs. The 
report's title is: Effectiveness of Pretensioners and Load Limiters for 
Enhancing Fatality Reduction by Seat Belts.

DATES: Comments must be received no later than April 22, 2014.

ADDRESSES:
    Report: The technical report is available on the Internet for 
viewing in PDF format at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811835.pdf. 
You may obtain a copy of the report free of charge by sending a self-
addressed mailing label to Charles J. Kahane (NVS-431), National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Room W53-312, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
    Comments: You may submit comments [identified by Docket Number 
NHTSA-2013-0130] by any of the following methods:
     Internet: To submit comments electronically, go to the 
U.S. Government regulations Web site at http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: Written comments may be faxed to 202-493-2251.
     Mail: Send comments to Docket Management Facility, U.S. 
Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building 
Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery: If you plan to submit written comments by 
hand or courier, please do so at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West 
Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC between 9 a.m. and 
5 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except federal holidays
     You may call Docket Management at 1-800-647-5527.
    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and 
additional information see the Comments heading of the Supplementary 
Information section of this document. Note that all comments received 
will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including 
any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading 
in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles J. Kahane, Chief, Evaluation 
Division, NVS-431, National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Room W53-312, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: 202-366-2560. 
Email: chuck.kahane@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pretensioners and load limiters are

[[Page 79075]]

technologies designed to make seat belts more effective. Pretensioners 
retract the seat belt to remove excess slack almost instantly upon 
sensing the vehicle has crashed. Load limiters allow the belt to 
``give'' or yield when forces on the belt rise above a predetermined 
level. NHTSA has long encouraged--but never required--installation of 
these technologies in the front seats of vehicles. By model year 2008, 
all new cars and LTVs sold in the United States were equipped with 
pretensioners and load limiters at the driver's and right-front 
passenger's seats. Double-pair comparison analyses of FARS data for 
1986 to 2011 compare the fatality-reducing effectiveness of seat belts 
with and without pretensioners and load limiters at those seats. In 
passenger cars, CUVs, and minivans, a belted driver or right-front 
passenger has an estimated 12.8 percent lower fatality risk if the belt 
is equipped with a pretensioner and a load limiter than if it is not 
equipped with either (95% confidence bounds: 2.6% to 23.0%). By 
contrast, the analyses of the currently available data do not yet show 
a significant effect for pretensioners and load limiters in truck-based 
LTVs (pickup trucks, SUVs with body-and-frame construction, and full-
sized vans); it may be advisable to rerun the analyses in about 4 or 5 
years when more data will be available.
    Comments:

How can I influence NHTSA's thinking on this subject?

    NHTSA welcomes public review of the technical report. NHTSA will 
submit to the Docket a response to the comments and, if appropriate, 
will supplement or revise the report.

How do I prepare and submit comments?

    Your comments must be written and in English. To ensure that your 
comments are correctly filed in the Docket, please include the Docket 
number of this document (NHTSA-2013-0130) in your comments.
    Your primary comments must not be more than 15 pages long (49 CFR 
553.21). However, you may attach additional documents to your primary 
comments. There is no limit on the length of the attachments.
    Please submit one copy of your comments, including the attachments, 
to Docket Management at the address given above under ADDRESSES.
    Please note that pursuant to the Data Quality Act, in order for 
substantive data to be relied upon and used by the agency, it must meet 
the information quality standards set forth in the OMB and DOT Data 
Quality Act guidelines. Accordingly, we encourage you to consult the 
guidelines in preparing your comments. OMB's guidelines may be accessed 
at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg_reproducible. DOT's guidelines 
may be accessed at http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/subject_areas/statistical_policy_and_research/data_quality_guidelines/index.html.
    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's 
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78) or you may visit http://www.regulations.gov.

How can I be sure that my comments were received?

    If you wish Docket Management to notify you upon its receipt of 
your comments, enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard in the 
envelope containing your comments. Upon receiving your comments, Docket 
Management will return the postcard by mail. You may also periodically 
access http://www.regulations.gov and enter the number for this docket 
(NHTSA-2013-0130) to see if your comments are on line.

How do I submit confidential business information?

    If you wish to submit any information under a claim of 
confidentiality, you should submit three copies of your complete 
submission, including the information you claim to be confidential 
business information, to the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. In 
addition, you should submit a copy, from which you have deleted the 
claimed confidential business information, to Docket Management at the 
address given above under ADDRESSES. When you send a comment containing 
information claimed to be confidential business information, you should 
include a cover letter setting forth the information specified in our 
confidential business information regulation. (49 CFR Part 512.)

Will the agency consider late comments?

    In our response, we will consider all comments that Docket 
Management receives before the close of business on the comment closing 
date indicated above under DATES. To the extent possible, we will also 
consider comments that Docket Management receives after that date.

How can I read the comments submitted by other people?

    You may read the comments received by Docket Management at the 
address given above under ADDRESSES. The hours of the Docket are 
indicated above in the same location.
    You may also see the comments on the Internet. To read the comments 
on the Internet, take the following steps:
    (1) Go to the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) at http://www.regulations.gov.
    (2) FDMS provides two basic methods of searching to retrieve 
dockets and docket materials that are available in the system: (a) 
``Quick Search'' to search using a full-text search engine, or (b) 
``Advanced Search,'' which displays various indexed fields such as the 
docket name, docket identification number, phase of the action, 
initiating office, date of issuance, document title, document 
identification number, type of document, Federal Register reference, 
CFR citation, etc. Each data field in the advanced search may be 
searched independently or in combination with other fields, as desired. 
Each search yields a simultaneous display of all available information 
found in FDMS that is relevant to the requested subject or topic.
    (3) You may download the comments. However, since the comments are 
imaged documents, instead of word processing documents, the ``pdf'' 
versions of the documents are word searchable.
    Please note that even after the comment closing date, we will 
continue to file relevant information in the Docket as it becomes 
available. Further, some people may submit late comments. Accordingly, 
we recommend that you periodically check the Docket for new material.

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30111, 30181-83 delegation of authority at 
49 CFR 1.95 and 501.8.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on December 23, 2013.
James F. Simons,
Director, Office of Regulatory Analysis and Evaluation.
[FR Doc. 2013-31024 Filed 12-26-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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