Can car color impact on crash rates? If so, what is the safest car color? Although scientific studies on car paint color and crash risk are just a handful, white seems to be the safest choice. Here are a few studies to back up this popular belief.
According to Schuman 1991, white is the most visible color at night. Against cloudy skies and snowy backgrounds, however, lime yellow is more visible than white. Red appears as black at night. Accordingly, lime yellow and white cars are the most conspicuous.
Lardelli-Claret 2002 observed that light-colored cars are involved in slightly less “passive” crashes. The authors reported that white and yellow cars were the safest.
After analyzing injury automobile accidents in Auckland, New Zealand, Furness et al. (2003) observed that silver cars were the safest. White cars were likely to be involved in double the number of accidents involving silver cars. Brown, black and green cars were likely to be involved in double the number of crashes involving white cars. Many anecdotal reports have however differed with the opinion that silver cars are the more conspicuous and safer than white cars.
The most definitive research on the link between car color and crash risk appears to be "The Vehicle Color Study" from Monash University, Australia. In 2007, Monash University Accident Research Center confirmed the widespread belief that indeed white is the safest car color. The research reported that white is the most visible and, therefore, safest color on the road. Cream, yellow and beige follow white closely. Compared to white cars, blue, red, silver, gray, and black vehicles had a 7, 7, 10, 11 and 12% higher crash risk respectively.
From the above studies, light-colored cars are the safest on the road. However, car paint color is not the most important factor in assessing crash risk. Your driving experience and behavior on the road, as well as the condition of your vehicle, are what you should be worried about most.
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