Swimming Champ Phelps Hit in Baltimore Car Accident; Other Driver Cited

A 28-year-old woman driver faces charges of running a red light in a Baltimore, Maryland traffic accident last Thursday involving Olympic gold medal swimming champion Michael Phelps. According to the Baltimore Sun, the accident occurred Thurs. Aug. 13 around 9 p.m. at East Biddle and North Calvert Sts. The woman, driving a Honda Accord, allegedly ran a red traffic light, striking a Cadillac Escalade driven by Phelps.

The woman suffered slight personal injury in the Baltimore traffic accident and was treated for neck and shoulder injuries at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. She must have been even more embarrassed when she learned that she struck the vehicle of one of the world’s most famous Olympic athletes.

Phelps and his three passengers were not injured, though the driver’s side airbag deployed and the front of his Escalade was damaged. Phelps was raised in Rodgers Forge, Baltimore County, and now lives in a condominium in the Baltimore waterfront neighborhood Fell’s Point. The Baltimore Police Department told the Sun that Phelps presented an invalid Michigan driver’s license to officers. Phelps was given a $40 citation and will need to appear in court. He also told police that he had one beer an hour before the accident. No Breathalyzer test was given. A car or truck accident with an outsized SUV like Phelps’ Cadillac Escalade could have been a lot worse. Luckily no one was seriously hurt in this traffic accident involving a driver running a red light.

Aggressive Driving: Running Red Light Traffic Accident Statistics
Baltimore injury lawyers like us know that running a red light can result in serious injury and fatalities for the drivers and passengers of the vehicles involved, as well as for innocent pedestrians involved in such careless traffic accidents.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) considers “running red lights” to be a most dangerous form of aggressive driving: In 1998, NHTSA estimated that motorists running red lights caused some 89,000 crashes across the country, resulting in 80,000 injuries and 986 fatalities. NHTSA says that running a red light is the number-one cause of traffic accidents in urban areas. (NHTSA Traffic Safety Digest, REGION I New England Stop Red Light Running Workshop; see link below to the Federal Highway Administration’s Stop Red Light Running Program.) This Baltimore crash involving Mr. Phelps is now part of those red-light running traffic accident statistics. Fortunately everyone survived, this time.

Woman to be cited in Phelps accident
Driver of other car to face charge of running red light BaltimoreSun.com Aug. 15, 2009
Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps involved in car accident in Baltimore, Maryland
Associated Press, NY Daily News Aug. 14, 2009
Related Web Resources

Stop Red Light Running Program

Michael Phelps, U.S.A. Olympic Swimming Team

Fell’s Point, Baltimore