Coronavirus: United Kingdom, facing worst recession on record, sees GDP drop 20.4% in Q2

The UK has seen its economy, hit by the coronavirus crisis, suffer a "record" contraction of 20.4% in the second quarter, and is officially facing its worst recession on record, agency figures show National Statistics (ONS), published Wednesday 12 August. 
Economists consider that a country enters a technical recession when it accumulates two consecutive quarters of contraction in its economy. According to the ONS, most of the contraction, which began to be felt in March, occurred in April, an entire month of containment and almost total cessation of activity in the country, which saw production collapsed by 20%.

With a very early recovery in construction sites and manufacturing activity, gross domestic product (GDP) rebounded in May by 2.4% (revised figure), followed by an acceleration in June (+8.7 %) thanks in particular to the reopening of all shops. This is the biggest contraction in the UK economy since the ONS began these quarterly statistics in 1955, he said…

Increase in fatal accidents linked to inattention on highways: "42% of users surveyed admit to sending text messages while driving in France"

According to the annual report of the Association of French Motorway Companies, inattention in 2019 was the cause of one in five fatal motorway accidents. "Inattention has become the third factor in [fatal] motorway accidents behind drowsiness and alcohol consumption," Christophe Boutin, ASFA delegate general.

Increase in fatal accidents linked to inattention on highways: "42% of users surveyed admit to sending text messages while driving in France"

Use of the telephone while driving

He considered that the use of the telephone is "the main explanation" for this inattention on the road, qualifying this use as "particularly dangerous and revolting". For Christophe Boutin, there is a real addiction to smartphone notifications and a "notification from a social network to which you have subscribed, it is a requisition of the mind". “You can't resist, you have to respond to it immediately, you feel like if you don't respond you'll be left out of your group of friends,” he explained.

42% of respondents admit to texting while driving, 8% more than two years ago when we did the previous study.
Christophe Boutin Managing Director of ASFA

Inattention at the wheel particularly affects "younger drivers", according to Christophe Boutin. "They represent twice as much as their share in the population of drivers, but they should not be stigmatized because all users are affected by this phenomenon and it is increasing a little in all age categories", a- he added.

Watching films or series and occasional distractions

The General Delegate of ASFA observed that viewing behind the wheel of "films and series can exist on the screen of a smartphone". This practice is, according to Christophe Boutin, "is a behavior that affects rather heavy truck drivers who drive at a little slower hours". "We suspect this when we see an accident where a heavy goods vehicle hits a construction machine even though it was on a straight line with no one in front of it and the vehicle is visible for more than a kilometer," he said. -he adds.

Inattention can also be caused by other uses, such as "music media and GPS". "We are quite close to what could exist formerly with the management of the car radio, cassettes or CD, this can pose problems of occasional distraction, but which are clearly less than the other uses", he noted.

Highway fatalities continue to decline as traffic increases.
Christophe Boutin, General Delegate of ASFA
Christophe Boutin added some nuances, assuring that "highways are five times safer than other social networks". He claimed that in 2019, "there were 149 fatal accidents, and since the 2000s the number of highway fatalities has more than halved." "The infrastructure is improving, behavior tends to improve, especially with regard to speed, road safety has improved considerably in recent years", welcomed the ASFA general manager.