What is the safest color for a car?
Does the Color of Your Car Impact Your Safety?
Exploring the connection between car color, safety, and other factors that contribute to crashes.
Are you more vulnerable to car accidents if you drive a certain color car?
It might sound strange, but the answer is yes, and the statistics are worth investigating. By educating yourself on road risks, even unusual ones, you’ll increase your odds of avoiding accidents that lead to life-changing injuries.
The relationship between car color and visibility
Studies have shown that certain car colors are more likely to be involved in accidents.
Popular car colors and their impact
on accident risk
According to Kelley Blue Book, white is the most popular color choice for minivans, pickup trucks, sedans and luxury cars alike. White is also considered the safest color. In fact, in comparison to white vehicles, black cars are 12% more likely to be involved in an accident.
Others cars colors with an increased likelihood of a crash include:
While there are several possible explanations for this correlation, the most obvious is visibility.
High-risk car colors at
dawn and dusk
Black cars are harder to see on the road, especially at night. Gray and silver cars are monochrome in a way that decreases their contrast with the surrounding environment.
Meanwhile, bold colors stand out, making them easier to spot and, therefore, easier to navigate around.
Other statistics worth noting involve vehicle visibility at different times of the day. For example, at dawn or dusk, these car colors are far more likely to be involved in an accident compared to white cars:
The role of car color in determining the severity of an accident
In addition to their overall likelihood of being involved in a crash, car color also has a correlation with crash severity. In other words, certain car colors are more likely to be involved in car accidents leading to injury and death.
These statistics follow the same trends as ones related to overall visibility: Cars with a low level of visibility tend to be involved in a higher severity of accidents. These “low visibility colors” include:
The psychological effects of car color on a driver’s behavior
Does the color of a person’s car influence their driving behavior or their perception of risk?
The short answer is yes. While this kind of data can be hard to quantify, multiple studies into color psychology have shown that it extends to drivers as well.
For example, red cars have been linked to stronger levels of aggression in their owners, especially when the owners are male. Men who prefer the color red tend to have higher levels of testosterone, and they tend to link the shade to characteristics like aggression, strength, and dominance. Red can also provoke other drivers on the road, regardless of their own vehicle color. Research has indicated that drivers of all types are more likely to experience “physiological arousal” when they see the color red, especially in the context of perceived misconduct.
One study tracked the responses of drivers when a car in front of them refused to move fast enough at a changing light. When that car was red, other drivers honked faster and longer than for any other color.
The history of car color preferences
In the 1950s, bright colors like red, green, and blue dominated the streets. In recent years, however, consumer preference has shifted significantly. Today, almost 75% of all cars on the road are white, black, silver or gray.
Why has car color preference changed over time?
One reason might be purely economic. Paint jobs cost money, and dazzling colors are more likely to need frequent touch-ups to stay attractive.
Another reason could be related to the technological rise of society. Many of today’s gadgets are monochrome, leading to a general consumer preference for sleek, practical and multipurpose shades.
Some manufacturers have also even given credit to Apple for the newfound trendiness of white.
The cultural significance of car color
While Americans prefer neutral shades for their cars, this isn’t the case in all countries.
Drivers in Sweden, for example, buy orange cars at higher rates than anyone else in Europe. Drivers in Denmark love white and hate black; drivers in Turkey love black and hate white. There are sometimes easily understood reasons for a car color’s popularity. Those in tropical climates, for instance, tend to avoid dark-colored cars that absorb heat. There can also be an element of national pride in color preferences: The Czech Republic sells a lot of red and blue cars, and coincidentally, red and blue are the colors of their flag.
On the other hand, some car color choices are inexplicable. Why does France prefer cream-colored vehicles at 4 times the rate as Hungary? It’s hard to say.
Despite the rainbow of car colors throughout the world, it should be noted that white, black, and silver are still the top picks for American and European drivers overall. Monochrome vehicles are on the rise everywhere.
Types of severe injuries suffered in car accidents
Cars of every color can be involved in crashes, and the injuries sustained from these crashes can be quite severe.
Spinal injuries are a frequent cause of hospitalizations after car accidents. In the most extreme cases, they can cause paralysis or paraplegia.
Car accidents are also the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). More than 50,000 people per year die from TBIs, and double that number are hurt or disabled by them.
Other common injuries from car accidents include the following:
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding or brain hemorrhage
- Limb loss
Atlanta’s most dangerous highways
If you’re a driver in Atlanta, you should know that certain roads are more dangerous than others. The worst are in the Atlanta metro area, which has been dubbed the most accident-prone grid in the entire state of Georgia.
Specific roads to avoid include:
- State Route 42
- Interstate 20
- Interstate 285
- State Route 85
If you can’t avoid them, try to take extra care along your commute.
Why hire a Georgia workers’ comp attorney?
If you get injured while driving for work, you’ll want to hire an experienced workplace accident attorney who specializes in work-related accidents. They can help you navigate bills, claims, court appearances, insurance investigations and more. They’ll also be familiar with the specific legal processes of filing for workers’ compensation in Georgia. Every state is different, so make sure to hire someone who understands local policies and procedures so that they can maximize the benefits paid to you.
At Gerber & Holder Workers’ Compensation Attorneys, our attorneys have over 75 years of combined experience helping injured workers across Georgia recover compensation after an injury. Let us handle negotiations with your employer and their insurance company so you can focus on your recovery.
Car Color and Crash Risk
What do you think about when you’re buying or leasing a new (to you) car? You probably search for vehicles that have great reviews and excellent crash ratings. What you might not be overly concerned with is color. However, some research shows that the color of your car might be related to your chances of getting into a car accident. Researchers have discovered that some colors are associated with increased crash risk, while others are much less likely to be involved in collisions.
Table of Contents
The Safest Color Car Choices
Here’s a breakdown of the safest color car choices, beginning with the color that’s associated with the lowest crash risk.
Cars that are white are less likely than other colors to be involved in a traffic accident. In fact, when compared to black cars, white cars are 12 percent less likely to crash.
Reasoning: White cars stand out. They don’t blend into their surroundings, regardless of whether they’re being driven in a city like Atlanta or out in a more rural setting. High visibility is believed to be why white cars are the safest choice.
Some researchers are adamant that yellow cars – not white – are the safest choice. There’s a reason taxi cabs and school buses are yellow – they’re easy to spot.
Reasoning: Yellow cars stand out. Just like white cars, they’re not going to blend into the background or landscape.
There aren’t many orange cars on the road, but maybe there should be. Orange cars are associated with a lower crash risk than other colors.
Reasoning: When you’re driving around, think about your surroundings. What’s orange? In reality, the answer is probably “not much.” Bright orange cars are pretty easy to spot and, many times, stick out like a sore thumb. So, again, visibility can help to explain why orange cars are involved in fewer crashes than many other colors.
Gold tends to be one of the safer choices when it comes to the color of your car.
Reasoning: Visibility. Gold shines. It sparkles. It’s stunning. Since gold is pretty easy to see, it follows that vehicles of this color won’t be involved in as many crashes as others.
The Most Dangerous Car Colors
Here’s a breakdown of the most dangerous color choices for your car, beginning with the one with the highest crash risk – black.
Pretty much every study that’s focused on car color and crash risk has concluded that black vehicles are more likely than others to be involved in motor vehicle accidents. It might not be surprising to learn that the relative risk varies based on the time of day.
In one study, researchers discovered that you’re approximately 47 percent more likely to be involved in an accident at night while driving a black car. During the day, the relative risk is lower, but still significant. The likelihood of a crash increases by between 10 and 20 percent when the sun is shining, depending on who you ask.
Reasoning: Black cars are hard to see. Visibility is very low. These dark vehicles are much more likely to blend into the landscape on the road, especially at night. If other motorists can’t see your black car, a crash is much more likely to happen.
When compared to white cars, grey vehicles are 11 percent more likely to be involved in an accident.
Reasoning: Grey cars, much like black ones, can be really tough to see. This is particularly true if it’s cloudy or foggy out. Limited visibility increases the risk of an accident.
While there are a lot of different shades of blue, blue cars tend to be of a dark variety. That might be why blue cars are associated with an increased crash risk of about 7 percent.
Reasoning: Blue vehicles can be really tough to see. Dark blue cars might be difficult to see at night against a dark sky, while lighter shades of blue might blend into the daytime sky.
When shopping for a car, you might shy away from a red car simply because you think you’ll be more likely to get pulled over. This actually isn’t true. However, the decision to go with a different color choice might be a good idea but for a different reason. Red cars are 7 percent more likely to be involved in an accident, at least when compared to white ones.
Reasoning: When you drive around, a lot of your surroundings might be red. Between stop signs, red traffic signals, brake lights, and first responder lights, there’s a lot of red on the road. It can be tough to distinguish a red vehicle under these circumstances.
Green cars aren’t really associated with an increased OR decreased crash risk. They’re kind of in the middle of the road. Green cars are involved in more accidents than white ones, but fewer crashes than vehicles that are darker.
Reasoning: Green cars can be difficult to see at times, which is why they fall into the “dangerous” car color category. This is particularly true when you’re out on the open road where grass and farmland are all you can see for miles.
The Jury is Out on Silver Cars
Silver cars account for nearly one out of every four new vehicles on the road. Is silver a safe color choice? Two different studies attempted to answer this question and ultimately came up with two very different answers.
In one study, researchers concluded that silver cars are more dangerous than others. There, silver vehicles were associated with an 11 percent increased crash risk when compared to white cars.
In another study, researchers found silver vehicles to be the safest color choice of all. There, silver vehicles were found to be 50 percent less likely to be involved in an accident than white cars.
Why Silver Might Be Safe: Silver – not grey – is shiny and bright. They tend to stand out and don’t get lost in the scheme of things. When a car is highly visible, it’s less likely to be involved in an accident.
Why Silver Might Be Dangerous: Research suggests that 23 percent of new cars are silver. That’s a lot of silver on the road. Silver cars can potentially blend into the background, especially in an urban setting. When silver cars are difficult to distinguish, the likelihood of an accident might increase.
Car Color Isn’t Everything
You’re not going to completely eliminate the chances of getting into an accident just because you drive a white car. Similarly, you’re not doomed to get into a crash because you have a black car. Color is just one part of a very complicated equation. At the end of the day, there are other factors that are probably much more likely to influence your chances of getting into a car accident.
Drunk Driving: When driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you’re about twice as likely as a sober driver to get into an accident. The higher your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the greater the risk.
Texting and Driving: If you read or send a text while driving, you’re 23 times more likely to get into an accident than safe drivers.
Dialing and Driving: You’re 2.8 percent times more likely to get into an accident if you are dialing a phone while operating a motor vehicle.
Speeding: Studies suggest that driving slower can significantly reduce the risk of an accident. Specifically, the risk of a crash drops by 2 to 3 percent for every 1 km/h decrease in speed.
Other factors that might contribute to an accident include road conditions (e.g., potholes, uneven roadway surfaces), construction, time of day, vehicle defects and malfunctions, and inclement weather.
Injured in a Car Accident? Let Our Atlanta Car Crash Lawyers Help
An accident can have some serious consequences, regardless of the color of the car you were driving at the time. If someone else caused you to get hurt, the Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Hasner Law PC can help you fight to hold them fully accountable. We’ll stand by your side and pursue all available damages, which could include money for your medical bills, lost wages, and even your pain and suffering. With more than 80 years of combined experience helping car accident victims in Georgia, you can trust that your case will be in good hands.
Our Atlanta law firm offers a free consultation, so give us a call at (678) 888-4878 to schedule yours today.
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Home » Personal Injury News & Developments » Car Accidents » Automobile Accidents Are More Likely to Involve Which Color Car?
Automobile Accidents Are More Likely to Involve Which Color Car?
July 23, 2022 | Jonathan Rosenfeld
When looking for a new car, safety is one of the most critical factors you would probably consider. Many people prioritize high-quality safety features and good safety ratings. Good seatbelts, airbags, and crash test results are usually enough for most buyers to deem a car “safe.” A car’s color is an afterthought or otherwise a purely aesthetic choice. However, many tend to forget that the color of your car also affects accident risk. Yes, car color and crash risk are correlated. Were you involved in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence? If so, the car accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can help you take legal action. Call our personal injury law firm at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team about your car accident remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
The Relationship Between Car Color and Crash Risk
- Forward and Backward Colors: Yellow and red cars seem closer (forward colors), while blue and black cars seem further (backward colors) even if they are at the same distance from you. Grey and silver cars are somewhere in the middle. Drivers tend to be more careful around vehicles that seem closer to them.
- Swelling and Shrinking: Lighter colors are more visually inflated than darker colors, giving a “swelling” effect. Hence, drivers are likely to perceive lighter-colored vehicles, such as white and yellow cars, than dark cars.
- Brightness: Colors can be divided into two types: light and dark. Red, yellow, and white are brighter and therefore easier to recognize. Dark car colors, such as black, blue, or green, are lower in brightness and look smaller and farther away. Drivers are more vigilant around vehicles they can readily perceive, such as yellow and white cars.
- Blending: Some colors blend in with the typical road background, such as gray, green, blue, and silver. Silver cars and gray vehicles tend to blend in with the urban landscape.
Green vehicles blend in with nature. Red cars mimic brake lights, signs, and other things on the road. Hence, if you are driving a gray car or any different color commonly found on the streets, you may have an increased crash risk.
What Are The Safest Car Colors?
Light-colored vehicles are the safest to drive because they are highly visible, quickly calling the attention of other motorists. According to research, the safest car colors are:
Yellow is the safest car color because it is the easiest to spot and stands out from the surroundings. Yellow’s high visibility is also why school buses are painted yellow. Yellow cars are also easy to see at night and in inclement weather.
Vehicles painted in other shades of yellow, such as cream or beige cars, also rank among the safest.
Next to yellow, white is the second safest car color on the road. White cars stand out from the background and are easily recognizable by other motorists. Furthermore, white cars “expand” and visually take up more space. So, other drivers are more aware of your presence if you are driving a white car.
Orange vehicles may not be popular, but it is one of the safest colors on the road. Orange is a warning color, prompting drivers to be wary when driving close to an orange car.
Gold is a rare car color, but it ranks among the safest. Aside from being rare enough that other drivers notice them, gold vehicles easily stand out against traffic and roads.
Which Color Cars are Involved in the Most Car Accidents?
Based on the relationship between car color and crash risk, dark-colored cars are the most dangerous on the road.
Here are the most dangerous car colors:
According to the Vehicle Color Study conducted by Monash University Accident Research Center (MUARC), black cars are more likely to be involved in a crash. Black cars have a 12% higher crash risk than white cars because they are more challenging to see and blend into the surroundings.
Black cars are also the most dangerous to drive at nighttime. The human eye cannot easily see black cars save for their lights, even on well-lit roads. Moreover, black vehicles are difficult to spot during inclement weather, increasing the risk of getting into an accident while it is raining.
Hence, driving a black car requires extra precautions and is not recommended for increased-risk drivers, such as new drivers and the elderly.
Grey and Silver Cars
Next to black cars, grey and silver cars are among the most dangerous. Although silver and grey cars are the most common color options, they are more likely to be involved in an accident.
Grey cars are associated with an 11% higher crash risk than the safest vehicle colors, while silver cars are more likely to be involved in an accident by 10%.
Like black vehicles, grey and silver vehicles have a higher crash risk due to low visibility. Silver and grey vehicles can blend in the background and therefore be difficult to see.
Red vehicles are most at risk of getting pulled over, but this is not the only reason you might want to avoid a red vehicle. Red vehicles are 7% more likely to be involved in an accident than yellow or white vehicles.
When considering visibility, you may think a red car would have a lower crash risk. But while red is a vibrant, easily visible color, it is also heavily present on the road. Traffic lights, brake lights, and stop signs can be red, making it difficult for other drivers to distinguish red cars from the backdrop.
Blue cars tend to blend in with the surroundings, including the sky. Hence, blue cars can be challenging to distinguish from the background and may even look further than they are. Blue vehicles are 7% more likely to be involved in car accidents than yellow or white vehicles.
Dark blue cars have more chances of being involved in an accident than cars painted in lighter shades of blue. A dark blue car may appear as dark as a black car, especially at night. However, any shade of blue can contribute to the risk of a traffic accident as it reduces visibility on the road.
Green vehicles are not as dangerous as black or grey cars. However, there is still an increase in the risk of a motor vehicle accident due to visibility. Green is everywhere, including trees, hills, grass, and bus stops. As a result, drivers may find it hard to distinguish green cars from the rest of the surroundings.
Car Colors to Avoid
Most accidents involve dark vehicles due to lower visibility. The human eye is less likely to see dark hues, especially in fast-paced environments like the road. Furthermore, some colors blend in with the things we see while driving, such as trees, emergency vehicles, traffic lights, and warning signs.
Here are vehicle colors with an increased crash risk:
- Black cars
- Grey cars
- Silver cars
- Blue cars
- Red cars
- Green cars
Car Colors to Buy
The color of your car directly affects how safe you are on the road. Here are the safest vehicle colors based on visibility and statistics:
- Yellow cars
- White cars
- Beige or cream cars
- Orange cars
- Gold cars
Other Factors That Can Lead to a Car Accident
The color of your car can affect how likely you are to be involved in an accident, but so do other factors. Other things that can significantly increase your crash risk such as:
- Aggressive Driving: Drivers that engage in aggressive behavior on the road, such as speeding, swerving, or tailgating, can increase your risk of an accident. Stay vigilant and drive defensively if another driver behaves recklessly on the road.
- Distracted Driving: Drivers distracted by phones, passengers, or food, can easily cause a car accident in split seconds. If you see a distracted motorist driving near you, slow down and maintain a safe distance.
- Driving Under the Influence: Intoxicated drivers cause more accidents than other factors. Drugs and alcohol impair a driver’s reaction time, concentration, and coordination, increasing the risk of traffic accidents. You may recognize an intoxicated driver on the road when a car is zigzagging, braking erratically, or drifting in and out of lanes.
- Unsafe Road Infrastructure: Sometimes, motor vehicle accidents are out of a driver’s control. Hazardous road conditions like potholes, rough roads, and uneven expansion joints can increase crash risk. When driving on unsafe roads, slow down and stay in your lane as much as possible.
- Poor Car Maintenance: A poorly maintained car can increase the risk of an accident. Vehicles with improperly-functioning brakes, suspensions, or steering can make a driver lose control of the vehicle and collide with other drivers.
Important Car Safety Features
A car’s color can influence crash risk, but it is not the only thing that matters. Reducing your risk of getting into a car accident also has to do with picking a car that has good safety features, such as:
- Forward collision warning
- Lane departure warning
- Automatic emergency braking
- Dashboard camera and backup camera
- Electronic stability control
- Blindspot detection
- Side airbags
- Adaptive cruise control
What to Do if You Are Involved in an Accident
No matter what color car you have, there is always a chance of getting into an accident. If this happens, here’s what you need to do:
Check for Injuries
First things first, check yourself and your passengers for any injuries. Do not attempt to move someone that appears to be severely injured unless keeping them in that position poses an immediate danger. Apply first aid if needed.
Call The Authorities
Call the police to the scene. Call an ambulance if someone needs immediate medical attention. Do not let the other driver discourage you from calling the police; a police report can help you file a legal claim later.
Take pictures and videos of the scene. Take the other driver’s information, including their name, insurance information, contact information, and plate number.
Go to the Hospital
No matter how minor your injuries may seem, go to a doctor for a check-up. Some injuries do not appear immediately. Furthermore, the adrenaline from the crash may keep you from feeling pain. You need a medical report to prove your injuries to the insurance company later.
Contact a Lawyer
Call a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options. They can help you file a personal injury claim to the negligent driver’s insurance company and recover compensation for your damages.
Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Were you involved in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence? Did the accident cause serious injury to you or your passengers? If so, you have the legal right to seek compensation from the responsible party.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can help you recover a fair settlement for your damages. Our skilled attorneys have years of experience handling motor vehicle accidents across the country, assisting victims to gain justice for pain and suffering caused by negligent drivers.
Call our personal injury law firm at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team about your car accident remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
- University of Melbourne – Car Color and Safety
- Reader’s Digest – Car Colors Accident Risk
- Monash University – Crash Risk Higher For Black Cars
- World Health Organization – Road Traffic Injuries