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Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice of Request for Extension of Currently Approved Information Collection

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice of Request for Extension of Currently Approved Information Collection

Michael Howell
Federal Highway Administration
June 5, 2014


[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 108 (Thursday, June 5, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 32602-32604]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-13055]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration

[Docket No. FHWA-2014-0021]


Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice of Request for 
Extension of Currently Approved Information Collection

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of request for extension of currently approved 
information collection.

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SUMMARY: The FHWA invites public comments about our intention to 
request the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval for 
renewal of an existing information collection that is summarized below 
under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. We are required to publish this notice 
in the Federal Register by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

DATES: Please submit comments by August 4, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by DOT Docket ID 2014-
0021 by any of the following methods:
    Web site: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
    Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
    Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    Hand Delivery or Courier: U.S. Department of Transportation, West 
Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Craig Thor, Ph.D., Office of Safety 
Research and Development (HRDS), at (202) 493-3338, Turner-Fairbank 
Highway Research Center, Federal Highway Administration, 6300 
Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA, 22101, between 7:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Title: Motorcycle Crash Causation Study.
    OMB Control #: 2125-0619.
    Background: In 2011, there were 4,612 motorcycle crash-related 
fatalities in the United States--more than twice the number of 
motorcycle rider fatalities

[[Page 32603]]

that occurred in 1997. This increase contrasts with a 33% reduction in 
the number of fatalities in passenger cars and light trucks.\1\ In 
response to this growing concern, the U.S. Congress passed legislation 
to fund a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) research effort into 
the causes of motorcycle crashes in the United States. Congress has 
recognized this problem and directed the Department of Transportation 
to conduct research that will provide a better understanding of the 
causes of motorcycle crashes. Specifically, in Section 5511 of the 
Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A 
Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) Public Law 109-59, Congress directed the 
Secretary of Transportation to provide grants to the Oklahoma 
Transportation Center (OTC) for the purpose of conducting a 
comprehensive, in-depth motorcycle crash causation study that employs 
the common international methodology for in-depth motorcycle crash 
investigation developed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation 
and Development (OECD).\2\ The Secretary of Transportation delegated 
authority to FHWA for the Motorcycle Crash Causation Grants under 
Section 5511 (71 FR 30831). This study began in June, 2012 and has been 
successful in completing the necessary data collection.
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    \1\ NHTSA FARS encyclopedia: http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Main/index.aspx.
    \2\ The OECD methodology may be obtained by sending a request to 
jtrc.contact@oecd.org.
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Proposed Data Acquisition Methodology

Use of Parallel and Complementary Procedures

    The OECD describes two complementary procedures to be performed for 
acquiring the data needed to understand the causes of motorcycle 
crashes. The first of these is the traditional in-depth crash 
investigation that focuses on the sequence of events leading up to the 
crash, and on the motorcycle, rider, and environmental characteristics 
that may have been relevant to the crash. The second procedure, known 
as the case-control procedure, complements the first. It requires the 
acquisition of matched control data to allow for a determination of the 
extent to which rider characteristics and pre-crash factors observed in 
the crash vehicles are present in similarly-at-risk control vehicles.
    Such a dual approach offers specific advantages to the 
understanding of crashes and the development of countermeasures. The 
in-depth study of the crash by itself allows for analysis of the events 
antecedent to the crash, some of which, if removed or altered, could 
result in a change in subsequent events that would have led to a non-
crash, or reduced crash severity outcome. The main purpose of acquiring 
matched data is to allow for inferences to be made regarding risk 
factors for crash causes. A brief explanation is provided here so that 
those less familiar with case-control procedures will understand the 
advantage of acquiring controls. Consider a hypothetical situation 
where it is observed that the proportion of older riders involved in 
crashes who were unfamiliar with the roadway is the same as the 
proportion of matched (similarly-at-risk) older control motorcycle 
riders not involved in crashes. Conversely, the proportion of Younger 
riders involved in crashes who were unfamiliar with the roadway is the 
greater than the proportion of matched younger control motorcycle 
riders not involved in crashes. These hypothetical findings would 
suggest that a lack of familiarity with the roadway poses a greater 
crash risk for younger riders than it does for older riders. Other risk 
factors for crashes (i.e. gender, riding experience, fatigue level) for 
motorcyclists may also be examined in this manner. If scaled interval 
measurements of risk factor levels are obtained (for example, the 
number of years of riding experience for both crash-involved and 
control riders), then it becomes possible to calculate functions 
showing how risk changes with changes in the variable of interest. Such 
risk functions are highly useful in the development of 
countermeasures.\3\
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    \3\ Certainly other outcomes besides the one presented are 
possible, and other comparisons are of interest.
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Issues Related to Sampling

Characteristics of the Crash Sample
    To properly acquire in-depth crash data, it was necessary to find a 
location in the country that experiences the full range of motorcycle 
crash types that occur under a wide range of conditions and with a wide 
range of motorcycle rider characteristics. For this study, Orange 
County, California was selected as the data collection site. This 
location resembles a cross-section of motorcycle riding environments. 
There are both rural and urban regions; flat land and rolling hills; 
and daily commuters and leisure riders, therefore, the data collected 
from this region should reflect many of the causative factors that 
produce motorcycle crashes in these different riding environments. This 
location also allows for a sufficiently high frequency of motorcycle 
crashes to allow acquisition of the crash data in a reasonable amount 
of time. To date, this single location has proven to be sufficient to 
collect the required number of cases and controls. It is not necessary 
that the crash types observed (or other composite indices or parameters 
of interest) be drawn from a nationally representative sample, because 
it is not the intent of FHWA to make projections of the national 
incidence of the causes of crashes involving motorcycles from this 
study. Rather, the focus will be on identifying the antecedents and 
risk factors associated with motorcycle crashes. If it is deemed 
necessary, FHWA and NHTSA may utilize their alternative databases that 
incorporate certain of the key variables that will be acquired in this 
study, and those databases could be used in conjunction with this 
study's data to make national estimates of population parameters of 
interest.\4\
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    \4\ There is a lengthy precedent for studying crashes using 
case-control methods including the Grand Rapids study, (Borkenstein, 
R.F., Crowther, F.R., Shumate, R.P., Ziel, W.B. & Zylman, R. (1974). 
The Role of the Drinking Driver in Traffic Accidents (The Grand 
Rapids Study). Blutalkohol, 11, Supplement 1), and of course the 
Hurt study, (Hurt, H.H., Jr., Ouellet, J.V., and Thom, D.R. (1981). 
Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of 
Countermeasures Volume I: Technical Report).
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    In addition, the crash investigations will be conducted on-scene, 
and, when possible, while the involved operators and vehicles are still 
in place. This provides access to physical data that is less disturbed 
by rescue and clean up activities. It also facilitates the collection 
of interview data while memories are unaffected. This quick-response 
approach is most effective when a census of applicable crashes is 
selected for inclusion.
Characteristics of the Control Sample
    While the occurrence of a crash involving a motorcycle in the study 
site is sufficient for it to be selected into the study, selecting the 
similarly-at-risk controls requires a different approach. The OECD 
recommends several options for acquiring matched controls including 
interviewing motorcyclists who may be filling up at nearby gas 
stations, taking videos of motorcyclists who pass the crash scenes, and 
interviewing motorcyclists at the location of the crash location at the 
same time of day, same day of week, and same direction of travel. The 
first of these methods suffers from the shortcoming that a rider or 
motorist filling his fuel tank is not presented with the same risks, in 
the same setting,

[[Page 32604]]

as is the crash-involved rider and motorist. Passenger-vehicle 
motorists and motorcyclists need to be sampled at the location of the 
crash on the same day of the week, at the same hour, and from the same 
travel direction. Using the second method mentioned above, acquiring 
the risk sample by taking video at the crash scene provides a 
similarly-at-risk pool and it also allows for many controls to be 
acquired at low cost. Its chief disadvantage is that it does not allow 
capture of some of the key risk factors for crashes (e.g., fatigue), 
while others (e.g., age) may be very difficult to capture. Therefore, 
this method is not sufficient to support the scope of the current 
effort.
    The final method, the voluntary safety research interview, involves 
setting up a safety zone at or near the crash location, one week later 
at the same time of day, and asking those motorcyclists who pass 
through to volunteer in a study. With this method, Certificates of 
Confidentiality are presented to each interviewed driver and rider and 
immunity is provided. The main advantage of this method is that the key 
variables that are thought to affect relative crash risk can be 
acquired from riders who are truly similarly-at-risk. This is the 
method used in the current effort.

Information Proposed for Collection

    The data collection protocol includes the following number of 
variables for each aspect of the investigation:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Number of
                  Data Collection Form                       questions
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Administrative log......................................              43
Crash Form..............................................              22
Motorcycle Rider Form...................................             105
Motorcycle Passenger....................................              65
Motorcycle Mechanical...................................              91
Motorcycle Dynamics.....................................              43
Environment Form........................................              51
Helmet Form.............................................              77
Other Vehicle Form......................................              26
Injury Form.............................................             160
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Note that multiple copies of various data forms will be completed 
as the data on each crash-involved vehicle and person and each control 
vehicle and person are acquired. This increases the number of variables 
above the sum of what is presented above. There are also diagrams and 
photographs that are essential elements of each investigation that are 
entered into the database. Up to 1,600 data elements may be collected 
for each case, including the control rider data.

Estimated Burden Hours for Information Collection

    Frequency: Annually.
    Respondents: This study will be based on all crashes occurring 
within the sampling area. This burden estimate is based on the 
distribution of crash types seen in the study to date. The plan calls 
for data to be captured from up to 1,200 crashes with motorcycle 
involvement, and for all surviving crash-involved riders and drivers to 
be interviewed. Two control riders will be interviewed for each crash-
involved motorcyclist. Passengers accompanying crash-involved riders 
and passenger-vehicle drivers will also be interviewed. The following 
table shows the sampling plan and estimated number of interviews 
assuming 1,200 crashes are investigated.\5\ Maximum total crashes to be 
investigated is 1,200.
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    \5\ The final crash sample size will depend on the rate at which 
crashes can be acquired in the selected site(s) and other matters 
related to logistics and the final budget.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Crash Interviews
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Single vehicle motorcycle crashes...................                 252
Multi-vehicle (2-vehicle) motorcycle crashes (840*2)                1680
Passenger interviews motorcycle (.07* 252 +                          136
 .07*1680)..........................................
Passenger interviews cars (.19*235).................                 319
                                                     -------------------
    Total Crash Interviews..........................                2387
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           Control interviews
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Controls for single vehicle motorcycle crashes                       504
 (2*252)............................................
Controls for multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes (1*840                1680
 + 1*840)...........................................
Passenger Interviews................................                   0
                                                     -------------------
    Total Control Interviews........................                2184
                                                     -------------------
    Grand Total Crash plus Control Interviews.......                4571
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Estimated Average Burden per Interviewee: Crash interviews are 
estimated to require about 30 minutes per individual interviewed. To 
the extent possible, crash interviews will be collected at the scene, 
although it is likely that some follow-ups will be needed to get 
completed interviews from crash involved individuals. Control 
individuals' interviews will be completed in a single session and are 
expected to require about 15 minutes per individual.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: Burden hours estimates are 
based on the total of 2,387 crash interviews to be conducted at an 
average length of 30 minutes each and 2,184 control interviews to be 
conducted at an average length of 15 minutes each for a total one-time 
burden on the public of 1,770 hours.
    Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of 
this information collection, including: (1) Whether the proposed 
collection is necessary for the FHWA's performance; (2) the accuracy of 
the estimated burdens; (3) ways for the FHWA to enhance the quality, 
usefulness, and clarity of the collected information; and (4) ways that 
the burden could be minimized, including the use of electronic 
technology, 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; and 49 CFR 1.48.

    Issued on: May 29, 2014.
Michael Howell,
Information Collection Officer.
[FR Doc. 2014-13055 Filed 6-4-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-22-P

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