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Technical Report Evaluating Curtain and Side Air Bags

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Technical Report Evaluating Curtain and Side Air Bags

Terry Shelton
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
February 10, 2014


[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 27 (Monday, February 10, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 7739-7741]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-02713]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2014-0019]


Technical Report Evaluating Curtain and Side Air Bags

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

ACTION: Request for comments on technical report.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces NHTSA's publication of a technical 
report evaluating the fatality-reducing effectiveness of curtain and 
side air bags in the front seats of passenger cars and LTVs. The 
report's title is: Updated Estimates of Fatality Reduction by Curtain 
and Side Air Bags in Side Impacts and Preliminary Analyses of Rollover 
Curtains.

DATES: Comments must be received no later than June 10, 2014.

ADDRESS:
    Report: The technical report is available on the Internet for 
viewing in PDF format at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811882.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-2014-0019] 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: Curtain and side air bags are designed to 
protect occupants in near-side impacts, those to the sides of vehicles 
adjacent to where

[[Page 7740]]

the occupants are seated. Four major types of curtain and/or side air 
bags have been available in the United States since 1996. However, by 
model year 2011, 85 percent of new cars and LTVs (light trucks and 
vans) were equipped with curtains plus torso bags for drivers and 
right-front passengers. Curtains that deploy in rollover crashes began 
to appear in 2002; by 2011 about 45 percent of new cars and LTVs were 
equipped with such curtains.
    Logistic regression analyses of FARS data through calendar year 
2011 show statistically significant fatality reductions for all four 
types of curtain and side air bags in near-side impacts for drivers and 
right-front passengers of cars and LTVs: curtains plus torso bags, 31.3 
percent (confidence bounds, 25.0 to 37.1%); combination head/torso 
bags, 24.8 percent (confidence bounds, 17.7 to 31.2%); curtains only, 
16.4 percent (confidence bounds, 3.0 to 28.0%); and torso bags only, 
7.8 percent (confidence bounds, 0.4 to 14.7%).
    Corresponding analyses of far-side impacts do not show 
corresponding, large benefits for curtain or side air bags. Curtains 
that deploy in rollover crashes show a statistically significant effect 
in first-event rollovers: The estimated fatality reduction is 41.3 
percent (confidence bounds, 22.5 to 55.5%). Analyses should be repeated 
in about 3 or 4 years, when there will be considerably more data 
available.
    In 2007, NHTSA upgraded FMVSS No. 214, ``Side impact protection'' 
by adding a crash test of a 20 mph side impact with a pole, at a 75-
degree angle (72 FR 51908). The agency anticipated that head-protection 
air bags such as curtains or combination bags would generally be 
installed to meet the new requirement. In 2011, NHTSA issued FMVSS No. 
226, ``Ejection mitigation'' (76 FR 3212), anticipating that 
containment of the occupant would be achieved in many vehicles by 
curtains designed to deploy in rollovers.
    The technical report updates NHTSA's preliminary evaluation of 
curtain and side air bags, issued in 2007 (72 FR 12857).

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-2014-0019) 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-2014-0019) 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

[[Page 7741]]

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 February 4, 2014.
Terry Shelton,
Associate Administrator for the National Center for Statistics and 
Analysis.
[FR Doc. 2014-02713 Filed 2-7-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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