Car Color and Crash Risk
Safety features are an essential consideration when purchasing a vehicle. However, we tend to think of color in terms of aesthetic appeal or practicality. Research done over the last decade has shown that the color of a vehicle may well have a direct correlation to the risk of being involved in a car crash.
At, Lattof & Lattof PC, we represent car accident victims in the Mobile, Alabama area. We have over 100 years of collective experience in helping the victims of car accidents get fair compensation for their injuries. A Mobile, AL car accident lawyer at Lattof & Lattof PC would rather give you valuable information to help reduce your chances of being in a crash.
Insurance companies around the world have studied and surveyed crash records to determine if it is true that the color of the car makes a statistical difference in the odds of crashing. They have found that it is, in fact, true that the color of the vehicle impacts the likelihood of a car accident.
The research into why colors affect the likelihood of a crash, and what colors pose the most significant risk and safety, is ongoing. Researchers have found that some colors are definitively safer than others, but not all the reasons behind the safety or danger of different colors are well-understood.
What Color Car is the Safest?
A study done in 2007 by Monash University showed that white vehicles are the safest color choice. White vehicles offer visibility and high contrast in all lighting and weather conditions. Research has shown that white cars are at least 12% less likely to be involved in a crash than cars in a darker color.
White cars also have the distinction of being the most popular color of cars in the world. Why? Even if they can not site the research, most buyers have heard that white is one of the safest color choices, and that has helped drive the popularity of the color. White is a classic color that looks good on virtually any make and model of vehicle, and white cars have a higher resale value.
Which Color is the Most Dangerous?
The same studies that find white cars are among the safest color choices also found that dark-colored vehicles are the most dangerous. Black, in particular, can be a perilous color choice. The Monash Study in 2007 found that black cars can be up to 47% more likely to be involved in an accident.
Not only are black vehicles more likely to be involved in a crash, but those crashes are 10% more likely to be fatal. So, what is it about black vehicles that seem to pose a greater risk?
Most roadways are black, so a black vehicle provides little contrast between the road and the vehicle, making them harder to notice. Black vehicles are also more likely to be involved in nighttime crashes because they are difficult for other drivers to see.
Dangerous or not, black remains a popular color choice for vehicles in the United States. Almost a quarter of all cars sold in the U.S. are black. The color looks sleek, sophisticated, and modern, which appeals to many drivers, and black is particularly popular for luxury vehicles.
What Other Colors are Dangerous?
Here’s a breakdown of other colors that might increase the odds of a crash.
Grey vehicles are difficult to see in fog, rain, or other low light situations. Grey vehicles also blend into urban landscapes, making them hard to distinguish in the split second it can take for an accident to happen. Darker grey cars can be extremely difficult to see in the early morning and late evening light, as well.
Midnight blue is another choice that can pose a greater crash hazard, for the same reasons that other dark-colored vehicles are on the list. Midnight blue is another low-contrast color that is difficult to see at night.
Dark green cars have a problem with lack of contrast at night, but can also be more challenging to see in rural landscapes. When driving roadways lined with trees, or rolling hills covered in green, it is easy to miss the dark green car that blends in with the world around it.
There have been studies done that show green as a safe color, but that discrepancy may be caused by not defining the color green. After all, green can range from bright lime green to a shade so dark it can appear black in certain light.
Brown vehicles also land on the more dangerous end of the color spectrum. Brown cars can be hard to distinguish against almost any type of landscape.
Red cars are significantly more likely than white cars to be involved in a crash. Red, the color of fire trucks and emergency lighting, should be an easy color to spot. However, red is a color that has various shades. Those shades can blend in with the sun during sunrise or sunset, making it difficult for oncoming vehicles to spot.
Bright red, which might be a safer color choice, is a popular color choice for sports cars and convertibles. Those types of vehicles have a lower safety profile than other vehicles, which might contribute to the overall association of red as a dangerous color choice.
Champagne is a light color choice that falls closer to the “danger” side of the equation. Champagne is a difficult color to distinguish in all types of light, and it blends into most landscapes, making it easy to overlook.
While most of the vehicle colors listed as dangerous are on the dark end of the spectrum, there are other tones and types of paint that can pose a safety hazard as well. Any color done in a heavy metallic hue runs the risk of reflecting light and blinding oncoming traffic. Even a quick flash of reflected light can distract a driver long enough to pose an accident risk.
Is White the Only Safe Color?
No, white is not the only safe color. Any color that provides high contrast to its surroundings can improve visibility and reduce the risk of a crash.
For those who want to choose a safe color, but still want their choice of vehicle color to show off their personality, there are plenty of quirky, bright hues from which to choose.
Yellow vehicles rival white for safety, which is why you see both school buses and taxi cabs painted that color. A 2017 study found that yellow taxi cabs are safer than any other color, including white.
Lime green vehicles rank close to yellow in color safety studies. Pink is another color that performs well in terms of safety.
Silver cars are associated with a lower risk of getting into an avoidable collision. One study even suggests that silver vehicles are 50 percent less likely to be in a crash than the safest colors.
In general, light and bright colors are a better choice for safety than dark or shiny vehicles for those who want the best possible odds of staying safe on the roadway. However, the color of your car doesn’t make nearly as much difference as other risk factors.
Risk Factors Associated With Crashes
At Lattof & Lattof PC, helping car accident victims is part of our job. As a result, we see crashes caused by any number of dangerous and negligent behaviors. Some of the most common causes of accidents are:
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), distracted driving claims nine lives every day in the United States. Distractions can be caused by the use of cell phones and other technology, eating while driving, and by passengers in the vehicle. To protect yourself from the dangers of distracted driving, never use your cell phone while driving. If a passenger, such as a baby or young child, needs your immediate attention, exit the roadway and park to help them.
Nationwide, there are over one-million arrest each year for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. According to the United States Department of Transportation, 31% of traffic deaths are related to drunk driving practices.
There is enough awareness about the dangers of driving while impaired, and far too many other choices, to ever risk driving under the influence. Designate a driver, take a taxi, call a friend, or use Uber if you need a ride home. What can seem like a minor inconvenience can save your life and the lives of others who share the road.
Speeding can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. When speeding, you have far less time to react to other drivers and hazards on the road, and accidents are far more likely to be catastrophic when excessive speeds are involved.
Contact Our Mobile Car Accident Lawyers If You’ve Been Injured in a Crash
If you sustained injuries in a car wreck in Mobile, AL, Lattof & Lattof PC offers a free initial consultation. This way, you can determine the best course of action for receiving the compensation you deserve. Call and schedule an appointment so that one of our experienced Mobile personal injury attorneys can give you an honest assessment of your case.