[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 215 (Monday, November 8, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 68663-68664]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-28111]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0150]


Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Rear Impact Guards; Rear 
Impact Protection; Technical Report, on the Effectiveness of Underride 
Guards for Heavy Trailers

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

ACTION: Request for comments on technical report.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces NHTSA's publication of a Technical 
Report, its existing Safety Standard 223, Rear Impact Guards and Safety 
Standard 224, Rear Impact Protection. The report's title is: The 
Effectiveness of Underride Guards for Heavy Trailers.

DATES: Comments must be received no later than March 8, 2011.

ADDRESSES:
    Report: The technical report is available on the Internet for 
viewing in PDF format at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811375.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-2010-0150] by any of the following methods:
     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, M-30, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, Rm. W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time, 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    You may call Docket Management at 202-366-9826.
    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments, see 
the Procedural Matters section of this document. Note that all comments 
received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, 
including any personal information provided.

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. E-
mail: chuck.kahane@dot.gov.
    For information about NHTSA's evaluations of the effectiveness of 
existing regulations and programs: You may see a list of published 
evaluation reports at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/cats/listpublications.aspx?Id=226&ShowBy=Category and if you click on any 
report you will be able to view it in PDF format.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Safety Standards 223 (49 CFR 571.223) and 
224 (49 CFR 571.224) require underride guards meeting a strength test 
on trailers with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or greater manufactured on or 
after January 24, 1998. Safety Standard 224 defines the size 
requirements for the guards, while Safety Standard 223 describes 
strength testing and energy absorption requirements for DOT-compliant 
guards. This report is a statistical analysis of crash data aimed at 
determining the effectiveness of standard-compliant underride guards at 
preventing fatalities and serious injuries in crashes where a passenger 
vehicle impacts the rear of a

[[Page 68664]]

tractor-trailer. The primary findings are the following:
     Data from Florida and North Carolina showed decreases in 
fatalities and serious injuries to passenger vehicle occupants when 
rear-ending a tractor-trailer subsequent to the implementation of 
Safety Standards 223 and 224. However, the observed decreases are not 
statistically significant at the 0.05 level, possibly due to the small 
sample sizes of the data.
     Using supplemental data collection from North Carolina, it 
is shown that passenger vehicle passenger compartment intrusion is more 
apt to occur when the corner of the trailer is impacted, rather than 
the center of the trailer. This result is statistically significant at 
the 0.01 level.
     It is not possible to establish a nationwide downward 
trend in fatalities when a passenger vehicle rear-ends a tractor-
trailer--neither in terms of total number of fatalities, percentage of 
fatalities in rear impacts relative to other passenger vehicle 
fatalities involved in tractor-trailer accidents, nor number of fatal 
crashes per 1,000 total crashes. The Fatality Accident Reporting System 
does not list the model year of the trailer.
    In April 2009, NHTSA issued An In-Service Analysis of Maintenance 
and Repair Expenses for the Anti-Lock Brake System and Underride Guard 
for Tractors and Trailers (74 FR 18803).

Procedural Matters

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-2010-0150) 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.
    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) or you may visit http://www.regulations.gov.
    Please send two paper copies of your comments to Docket Management, 
fax them, or use the Federal eRulemaking Portal. The mailing address is 
U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Management Facility, M-30, 
West Building, Ground Floor, Rm. W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., 
Washington, DC 20590. The fax number is 1-202-493-2251. To use the 
Federal eRulemaking Portal, go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow 
the online instructions for submitting comments.
    We also request, but do not require you to send a copy to Charles 
J. Kahane, Chief, Evaluation Division, NVS-431, National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration, Room W53-312, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, 
SE., Washington, DC 20590 (or e-mail them to chuck.kahane@dot.gov). He 
can check if your comments have been received at the Docket and he can 
expedite their review by NHTSA.

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.

How do I submit confidential business information?

    If you wish to submit any information under a claim of 
confidentiality, send three copies of your complete submission, 
including the information you claim to be confidential business 
information, to the Chief Counsel, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590. 
Include a cover letter supplying the information specified in our 
confidential business information regulation (49 CFR Part 512).
    In addition, send two copies from which you have deleted the 
claimed confidential business information to U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Docket Management Facility, M-30, West Building, Ground 
Floor, Rm. W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, 
or submit them via the Federal eRulemaking Portal.

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.
    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.

How can I read the comments submitted by other people?

    You may read the materials placed in the docket for this document 
(e.g., the comments submitted in response to this document by other 
interested persons) at any time by going to http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the online instructions for accessing the dockets. You may also 
read the materials at the Docket Management Facility by going to the 
street address given above under ADDRESSES. The Docket Management 
Facility is open between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30111, 30168; delegation of authority at 49 
CFR 1.50 and 501.8.

James F. Simons,
Director, Office of Regulatory Analysis and Evaluation.
[FR Doc. 2010-28111 Filed 11-5-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P