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Agency Request for Approval of a New Information Collection: Recruitment and Debriefing of Human Subjects for Field Study on Vehicle Occupant Protection Technologies

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Agency Request for Approval of a New Information Collection: Recruitment and Debriefing of Human Subjects for Field Study on Vehicle Occupant Protection Technologies

Nathaniel Beuse
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
March 13, 2014


[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 49 (Thursday, March 13, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14335-14337]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-05368]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2014-0025]


Agency Request for Approval of a New Information Collection: 
Recruitment and Debriefing of Human Subjects for Field Study on Vehicle 
Occupant Protection Technologies

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Request for public comments on a proposed collection of 
information.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Transportation (DOT) invites public comments 
about our intention to request Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
approval for a new information collection. The information collection 
involves eligibility, demographic, and debriefing questionnaires. The 
information will be used to recruit participants for a field study on 
vehicle occupant protection technologies and to get information from 
study participants about their experience with such technologies. The 
study focuses on occupant protection technologies that restrict some 
vehicle functionality, permanently or temporarily, when they detect 
that a vehicle occupant is not wearing a seat belt.

DATES: Written comments should be submitted by May 12, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Docket No. NHTSA-2014-
0025 through one of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Mail or Hand Delivery: Docket Management Facility, US 
Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building 
Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590 between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. 
Telephone: 202-366-9826.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
    Instructions: All submission must include the agency name and 
docket number for this proposed collection of information. Note that 
all comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulation.gov, including any personal information provided. Please 
see the Privacy heading below.
    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

[[Page 14336]]

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.dot.gov/privacy.html .
    Docket: For access to the docket to read comments received, go to 
http://www.regulations.gov, or the street address listed above. Follow 
the online instructions for accessing the dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For access to background documents, 
contact Lisandra Garay-Vega, Ph.D.; 202-366-1412 Vehicle Safety 
Research, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. 
Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, 
DC 20590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 
before an agency submits a proposed collection of information to OMB 
for approval, it must first publish a document in the Federal Register 
providing a 60-day comment period and otherwise consult with members of 
the public and affected agencies concerning each proposed collection of 
information. The OMB has promulgated regulations describing what must 
be included in such a document. Under OMB's regulation (at 5 CFR 
1320.8(d)), an agency must ask for public comment on the following:
    (i) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for 
the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including 
whether the information will have practical utility;
    (ii) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the 
proposed collection of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
    (iii) How to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected;
    (iv) How to minimize the burden of the collection of information on 
those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology, e.g. permitting electronic 
submission of responses.
    In compliance with these requirements, NHTSA asks for public 
comments on the following proposed collection of information for which 
the agency is seeking approval from OMB:
    OMB Control Number: Not assigned.
    Title: Recruitment and Debriefing of Human Subjects for Field Test 
of Vehicle Occupant Protection Technologies
    Form Numbers: None.
    Type of Review: New Information Collection
    Background: NHTSA's mission is to save lives, prevent injuries, and 
reduce economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes. Increasing 
seat belt use is one of the agency's highest priorities. Seat belt use 
has shown an increasing trend since 1995, accompanied by a steady 
decline in the percentage of unrestrained passenger vehicle occupant 
fatalities during daytime. In 2013, the nationwide seat belt use 
reached 87 percent for drivers and front seat passengers.\1\ Despite 
gains in seat belt usage, data from the 2011 Fatality Analysis 
Reporting System (FARS) indicates that 52 percent of all passenger 
vehicle crash fatalities \2\ were unbelted occupants.\3\ The age group 
21 to 24 had the highest percentage of unrestrained occupants killed: 
2,172 fatalities, of which 1,385 (64%) were unrestrained. The second 
highest percentage of unrestrained passenger vehicle occupant 
fatalities was 63 percent among 25- to 34-year-olds.\c\ Use of lap/
shoulder seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat 
passenger car occupants by 45 percent and the risk of moderate-to-
critical injury by 50 percent. In 2011 alone, seat belts saved an 
estimated 11,949 lives.\c\
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    \1\ Pickrell, T. M., & Liu, C. (2014, January). Seat Belt Use in 
2013--Overall Results. (Traffic Safety Facts Research Note. Report 
No. DOT HS 811 875). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration.
    \2\ The 2012 and 2013 data on the percent of unrestrained 
passenger vehicle occupant fatalities during daytime is not yet 
available.
    \3\ NHTSA. (2013, June) Occupant Protection (Traffic Safety 
Facts 2011 Data. Report No.DOT HS 811 729). Washington, DC: National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration. http://www.nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811729.pdf.
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    The proposed study will examine seat belt use; users' acceptance of 
emerging vehicle technologies designed to increase seat belt use; 
likelihood and potential strategies to circumvent the system; and 
unintended consequences. The study method consists of a field operation 
test to collect objective and subjective data about two prototype 
technologies developed by automakers to increase seat belt use. A total 
of 32 drivers from two age groups will be recruited to participate in 
the study, 16 non-seatbelt users (8 young drivers; 8 middle-aged 
drivers), and 16 part-time users (8 young drivers; 8 middle-aged 
drivers). The study sample will have equal numbers of male and female 
drivers from each age group. The research team acknowledges that it may 
not be possible to recruit non-users given the high seat belt use rate 
in Michigan (more than 90%). Alternatively, the research team may 
consider recruiting part-time users with different non-belt use 
frequencies. The estimated burden hours are shown for 48 to 60 
respondents to account for estimated dropout rates.
    Each driver will be presented with one baseline condition and each 
of the two vehicle occupant protection technologies. Each condition 
will last one week. Therefore, each participant will drive the research 
vehicles for three weeks. A data acquisition system will record system 
state (i.e., door, ignition, driver seat belt buckle) and video inside 
the vehicle cabin. The University of Michigan Transportation Research 
Institute, in collaboration with the Virginia Tech Transportation 
Institute and Montana State University, Western Transportation 
Institute, will conduct this study under a research contract with the 
NHTSA.
    Description of the Need for the Information and Proposed Use of the 
Information: The collection of information consists of: (1) An 
eligibility questionnaire, (2) a demographic questionnaire; and (3) 
post study questionnaires.
    The information to be collected will be used to:
     Eligibility questionnaire(s) will be used to obtain self-
reported driving history information. Individuals interested in 
participating in the study will be asked to provide information about 
their driving history. People who have been convicted of felony motor 
convictions will be excluded. Individuals who pass the initial 
screening will be asked to provide their driver license number and 
consent to review their driving records to confirm self-reported 
driving history information. Drivers' consent and driving license 
numbers will be used to obtain official driving records from the state 
of Michigan. Individuals will be excluded from participating in the 
study if they refuse to grant UMTRI permission to review their public 
driving records or if they have been convicted of felony motor 
convictions in the last 2 years. This exclusion criterion is used to 
reduce the liability risk of providing participants with research 
vehicles.
     Demographic questionnaire will be used to obtain 
demographic information to confirm that the study group includes 
participants from various groups (e.g., age; gender; part-time seat 
belt users or those who sometimes wear their belts; non-users or those 
who never wear a seat belt; etc. Other demographic information will be 
collected to describe the study sample (e.g., annual travel distance).

[[Page 14337]]

     Post study questionnaire(s) will be used to get 
information about drivers' beliefs and attitude towards each occupant 
protection technology tested, and to identify potential problems 
associated with each system. These questionnaires will also be used to 
assess perceived usability of the systems in terms of acceptance and 
satisfaction, as well as willingness to have this technology in their 
vehicle. Each driver will complete a post study questionnaire twice, 
one by the end of the second week and the other by the end of the third 
week.
    Respondents: Michigan drivers with a valid driver license.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 48 to 60
    Estimated Number of Responses: One response per person to 25 to 160 
questions total.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 35 minutes per respondent (46 hours 
total).
    Estimated Frequency: one-time for the eligibility and demographic 
questionnaire; two-times for the post study questionnaire.
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    \4\ The number of respondents in this table includes drop-out 
rates.
    \5\ Estimated based on the mean hourly rate for Michigan (all 
occupations) is $21.14 as reported in the May 2011 Occupational 
Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics. http://www.bls.gov/oes/oes_dl.htm.

                                                             Table 1--Estimated Burden Hours
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                                                                                                             Estimated                         Total
                                                             Number of     Frequency of      Number of      individual         Total      annualize cost
                       Instrument                           respondents      responses       questions        burden         estimated    to respondents
                                                                \4\                                          (minutes)     burden hours         \5\
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Eligibility questionnaire...............................              60               1              25              10              10         $211.40
Demographic questionnaire...............................              48               1              15               5               4           84.56
Post study questionnaire................................              48               2              60              20              32          676.48
                                                                                                                                         ---------------
    Total...............................................                                                                              46          972.44
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    Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of 
this information collection, including (a) Whether the proposed 
collection of information is necessary for the Department's 
performance; (b) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (c) ways for the 
Department to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the 
information collection; and (d) ways that the burden could be minimized 
without reducing the quality of the collected information. The agency 
will summarize and/or include your comments in the request for OMB's 
clearance of this information collection.

    Authority:  The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44. U.S.C. 
Chapter 35, as amended; 5 CFR part 1320; and 49 CFR 1.95.

Nathaniel Beuse,
Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety Research.
[FR Doc. 2014-05368 Filed 3-12-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P



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