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Michael Phelps – A Lesson for Driver Ed Students


Michael Phelps admitted to police that he had had a beer an hour before he was involved in a multi-vehicle crash last Thursday, August 13, 2009. – in his Cadillac Escalade. Patrick Barrett, founder of Driver Ed in a Box®,, said “This is a lesson for everyone, especially young new drivers: celebrities and even Olympic athletes are not immune to the laws of physics or the hazards of driving.”

Mr. Barrett stated also, “This incident is a great reminder of how dangerous intersections are because even though Michael Phelps was not impaired (according to the police), he was injured and he was lucky that his injuries were minor.” The police said the driver of the other vehicle, a Honda Accord, was at fault. Police stated that the driver of that vehicle, Amanda Virkus, failed to obey a red light.

“About one-third of collisions occur at intersections,” according to Mr. Barrett, a nationally recognized expert in collision-free driving, . Mr. Barrett goes on to state “It does not matter who is at fault if you are seriously injured or you can’t walk away from the collision. That’s why it is imperative that a driver visually clear an intersection before going through it. The green light does not mean that it is safe to go through the intersection, a green light only means that it’s your turn. If you doubt that, just ask Michael Phelps.”

Numerous studies documented by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have shown that young drivers have a collision rate of at least four times greater than that of other age groups of drivers.

What can be done to make teens safe drivers?

A Texas study demonstrates that certain teen drivers have fewer crashes. According to the Texas study, these teens use a product called Driver Ed in a Box®. Mr. Barrett states “Parents who follow the Driver Ed in a Box® program provide nine months to a year of extended supervised training to teach their teen to drive. And fortunately, our product walks you through the complete process step by step.”

According to Mr. Barrett, “A review of the driving records of the graduates of our parent-taught driver education course, Driver Ed in a Box®, shows that our 16 year old graduates have a collision rate of only 1.7%. Studies show that 16 year old drivers in the state of Texas using other methods of driver education have a collision rate of 11.4%.” This study can be viewed at

About Driver Ed in a Box, LLC:
Driver Ed in a Box, LLC was started by Patrick L. Barrett (Pat), a nationally known expert in training for collision-free driving. We are a company with a mission to provide families with the knowledge and tools necessary to build the habits of safe, collision-free driving.


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