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Volvo has spent 50 years studying real accidents to improve road safety

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Volvo has spent 50 years studying real accidents to improve road safety
Each year, 1.35 million people die globally in traffic accidents. “We work for the safety of all road users, both inside and outside our trucks. Our vision is zero accidents. There is no other alternative,” said Anna Theander, Accident Research team leader, standing with Anna Wrige Berling, traffic and product safety director at Volvo Trucks. (Courtesy: VOLVO TRUCKS)

GOTHENBERG, Sweden — This year marks the 50th anniversary since Volvo Trucks’ Accident Research Team began to systematically gather, analyze and act upon in-depth information about real-life traffic accidents.

The knowledge gained provides unique value in the development of safety systems and future vehicle designs, with the objective of making trucks and transport safer, according to Anna Wrige Berling, traffic and product safety director at Volvo Trucks..

The Accident Research Team’s work focuses on improving both active and passive safety for Volvo trucks. Research into passive safety is designed to minimize the consequences of any accident, and active safety means avoiding or mitigating accidents. Understanding how traffic accidents occur, by deeply investigating actual incidents, can help prevent accidents from happening again and protect human lives.

“Every year 1.35 million people are killed globally in traffic accidents. This is something we take very seriously,” explains Anna Wrige Berling, Traffic and Product Safety Director at Volvo Trucks. “Investigations by the Accident Research Team contribute valuable insight which ultimately helps give truck drivers a safer working environment and improve traffic safety for all road users. In addition, the work supports our safety vision that there should be no accidents involving Volvo trucks.”

“Safety has been a core value at Volvo since the company was founded,” said Anna Theander, the accident research team leader. “And in 1969 the Accident Research Team was created to investigate real-life traffic accidents. The objective was, and still is, to make traffic safer by using this information to improve future vehicle design.”

Today, the Accident Research Team is a cross-disciplinary safety research network of safety experts. They create and share unique insights about the causes of real-life accidents – adding to the knowledge gained from laboratory crash tests.

In addition, the team uses data analysis of national and regional traffic statistics to gain even deeper understanding.

“The deep knowledge that the ART attains serves as valuable safety input and guidance for our product development teams,” Berling said. “Although the ART does not by itself develop safety systems, our safety experts’ understanding of complex accident scenarios gives the product development teams additional competence and confidence to create solutions that go beyond what was initially thought to be required.”

“For 50 years, the Accident Research Team has been learning from the past by investigating accident sites to feed crucial safety information to our product developers,” said Anna Theander. “And looking to the future, the insights that the ART holds will continue to contribute to Volvo Trucks further work to proactively improve road safety, for traditional human driving as well as for new autonomous vehicles.”

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The Nation

‘Disruptive’ major freeway project planned to begin in spring 2021 in central Phoenix

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‘disruptive’ major freeway project planned for spring 2021 in central pheonix
Interstate 10 is a travel artery corridor for commuters, shipping freight and access to Sky Harbor Airport and will undergo a major reconstruction, with most of the work on the 11-mile corridor estimated to begin in the spring 2021 and end in the of summer 2024.

PHOENIX — Transportation planners are spreading the word that the start of a multiyear project to rebuild a critical freeway corridor in the heart of the metro area is only about a year off.

The project includes adding traffic lanes and building new bridges on parts of an 11-mile stretch of Interstate 10. That stretch extends northward from the junction with the State Route 202 freeway in Chandler to where I-10 meets Interstate 17 in central Phoenix near Sky Harbor International Airport.

“This is going to be the most disruptive project we’ve had in this region from a transportation perspective,” warned Eric Anderson, executive director of Maricopa Association of Governments.

Construction work for the project is expected to begin in spring 2021 and take about four years to complete, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Primary funding for the $700 million project comes from a half-cent sales tax approved by Maricopa County voters in 2004, ADOT spokesman Tom Herrmann said Friday.

Herrmann said department officials anticipate completing the final environmental assessment and receiving a favorable finding of “no significant impact” within the next 60 days.

The heavily traveled stretch is often jammed mornings and late afternoons with commuters and long-distance travelers, though the recently opened South Mountain Freeway ringing part of metro Phoenix is expected to divert some traffic either heading across the metro area or just passing Phoenix and its sprawling suburbs.

Anderson told Phoenix City Council members recently that the project could save up to 2 million hours of travel time a year, KJZZ-FM reported.

Much of the reconstruction will center around a segment where five bridges will be built in the vicinity of State Route 143, a short north-south freeway. Its alignment east of Sky Harbor.

In the the northern part of the project area, a collector-distribution road system will be built to reduce the number of lane changes on the main portion of I-10 and improve traffic flow, the Arizona Department of Transportation says.

Other work includes expanding interchanges with SR 143 and U.S. 60, another freeway that connects with I-10.

John Bullen, MAG’s transportation program manager, said a dynamic traffic simulation model is being developed to help plan the construction work.

“So based on the real world inputs, we’ll be able to develop ‘what if’ scenarios to understand how construction might impact traffic and what tools really we have at our disposal to be able to mitigate some of those impacts, to make things smoother,” Bullen said.

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The Nation

New information on events leading to Celadon’s bankruptcy likely to anger former employees

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Bankrupt celadon receives partial approval to pay employee wages
Celadon officials knew of intent to file bankruptcy earlier than claimed. (The Trucker file photo)

While news of the Celadon bankruptcy that shocked the trucking industry broke nearly two months ago, newly unsealed documents provide insight into factors leading the carrier’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. In this instance, the documents show that TA Dispatch (TAD) of Ensley, Alabama, filed a $6.2 million lawsuit against the carrier six days before Celadon officials announced the company sought a U.S. bankruptcy court’s protection. The documents also suggest Celadon had a minimum of 11 days to inform employees of the company’s pending closure.

TAD’s lawsuit is based on a breach of contract on the part of Celadon. The contract stated that the two companies would partner, allowing Celadon to access TAD’s logistics platform in a revenue-sharing agreement that would assist both companies in better serving customers.

While Celadon and TAD shared billing duties and transferred funds under procedures stated in the revenue sharing section of the contract, in mid-November, Celadon was unable to make its payment of $4.4 million due to its partner. TAD claimed that in a late November meeting, a Celadon executive told them the carrier was insolvent. In fact, Celadon requested a loan from TAD in order to keep operations afloat.

When demand for payment sent to Celadon on November 27 went unmet, TAD officials stated Celadon responded that further inquiries would be referred to its bankruptcy attorneys. In addition, Celadon cut off TAD’s access to its IT services, a move that severely interrupted TAD’s operations. Later, Celadon restored access.

The timeline of events in late November provides some insight into a potential reason for Celadon’s bankruptcy. But former employees will be much more interested in the dates TAD notes in its lawsuit.

Celadon caught many employees off-guard on December 8, when it sent a midnight message to drivers announcing it had ceased operations. Shortly thereafter, the Celadon’s fuel card company deactivated cards and left drivers stranded across the U.S.

The timeline of events offers evidence to support a former employee’s lawsuit claiming Celadon had violated the WARN Act, requiring large employers to provide notice of at least 60 days before implementing layoffs. The timeline as reportedly recorded in the documents suggests Celadon had a minimum of 11 days during which company officials knew of its intent to cease operations — 11 days employees could have spent searching for new jobs and to prevent them from being unemployed during the holiday season.

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The Nation

Old Dominion Freight Line celebrates MLB Spring Training with nationwide fan events

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Old dominion freight line celebrates mlb spring training with nationwide fan events
Old Dominion will partner with eight teams for spring training celebrations this year, including the Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies. (Courtesy: Old Dominion Freight Line)

THOMASVILLE, N.C. — Old Dominion Freight Line, the Official Freight Carrier of Major League Baseball, will drive the annual spring training sendoff tradition with MLB clubs across the country.

The company will deliver clubs’ equipment to warmer locations as the teams start spring training. Before the trucks hit the road, teams will celebrate the unofficial start of the 2020 baseball season with fans, coaches, current players, alumni and team mascots.

“spring training sendoffs are a player- and fan-cherished ritual. It’s our pleasure to be a part of these special events and ensure the teams’ equipment arrives safely and on-time,” said Dick Podiak, vice president of marketing and communication for Old Dominion Freight Line. “We are delighted to ring in the 2020 season as a corporate sponsor for 12 MLB clubs and as our fourth year as the Official Freight Carrier of Major League Baseball.”

This year, Old Dominion will partner with eight teams for the spring training celebrations, including the Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies.

The festivities will begin with the Chicago White Sox 28th annual event, SoxFest, on Jan. 24-25. With the help of the White Sox mascot, Southpaw, Old Dominion will move the team’s equipment to the new SoxFest location, McCormick Place. Fans will have the chance to collect autographs and take photos with former and current stars of the Chicago White Sox.

On Jan. 25, the New York Mets will host the inaugural FanFest event at Citi Field. The sendoff will take place at noon in the player’s lot, where one trailer will be packed with more than 10,000 items, including 600 baseball caps, four pitching machines, 10 cases of chewing gum and 1,000 pounds of weight equipment for the team, and depart for First Data Field in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Thousands of Braves fans are expected to attend ChopFest at Truist Park in Atlanta, Georgia on Jan. 25, where Old Dominion will celebrate with the team before their departure. The event will include interactive areas with players and coaches, pictures with team mascot, BLOOPER, a Braves history chalk walk, free autographs for kids and more.

Following the Kansas City Royals FanFest activities in downtown Kansas City, the team will move from Kauffman Stadium to Spring Training in Surprise, Arizona on Jan. 30. The team will pack up two 28-foot trailers and begin the 1,280-mile journey to Surprise Stadium.

The Los Angeles Angels are gearing up for an exclusive celebration on Feb. 4 where Old Dominion will load commemorative trailers with exercise equipment, consumable products for the clubhouse, and other Spring Training essentials, before hitting the road to Tempe, Arizona.

To wrap up the sendoffs, on Feb. 7, the Philadelphia Phillies will host a community event at Citizen Bank Park to celebrate “Truck Day.” With the help of the Phillies’ mascot, the Phillie Phanatic, Old Dominion will move a variety of items, including 10,000 12 oz. sports drink cups, 2,400 baseballs, six bicycles, one Phanatic hot dog launcher and more into two 28-foot trailers. The Phillie Phanatic — alongside rally-towel waving fans and local sports mascots — will escort the custom-wrapped trailers out of Citizen Bank Park to begin the journey to Clearwater, Florida. The Old Dominion tandem trailers will cruise through eight states, traveling 1,058 miles until it reaches their destination at Spectrum Field.

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