Car Color and Crash Risk
When you buy or lease a car, you probably do a lot of research. After all, you’ll be using this car to drive yourself and your family around. A lot of different things might influence your final choice – price, estimated gas mileage, or even something like an onboard GPS system.
There’s one detail that you might not think is all that important – color. You might even agree to take whatever color car is on the lot when you’re there. However, you might want to bump color up to the top of your list of things to consider. Why? Studies show that the color of the car you drive might be associated with your risk of getting into a car accident.
The Most Dangerous and Safest Color Cars
So, what color car should you absolutely avoid? What color car is the most dangerous to drive? Research suggests that black cars are the most dangerous. Grey and/or silver cars are also at the top of the list of dangerous car colors.
What about the safety car color? What color should you look for when you go to buy, lease, or rent a car? Studies suggest that yellow cars are involved in the fewest number of accidents, when compared to other colors. White vehicles also tend to be considered safe, as they’re also involved in relatively-few accidents.
Car Colors Associated With Increased Crash Risk
Here’s a rundown of car color and crash risk, beginning with the most dangerous car color.
When it comes to color, black cars are the most dangerous vehicles on the road. Multiple studies suggest that your risk of getting into an accident increases when you drive a black car.
Just how much more likely is an accident in a black car? The answer might depend on the time of day. Researchers suggest that the risk of an accident while driving a black car during the day increases by about 12 percent. At night, however, you might be 47 percent more likely to be in an accident.
Here’s why you might be more likely to be in an accident while driving a black car:
- Black vehicles are tough to see, particularly when it’s dark out.
- Black cars don’t stand out. They tend to blend into the surrounding scenery, background, and other vehicles.
Surprisingly, black is the most popular choice of car color in the United States. CarMax recently reported that black vehicles accounted for nearly one-quarter of its sales (22.5 percent).
Grey cars aren’t quite as dangerous as black vehicles. However, studies suggest that, regardless of the time of day, you’re about 11 percent more likely to get into an accident while driving a grey car.
Grey cars might be associated with a higher crash risk because:
- Grey vehicles don’t stand out. They blend into their surroundings.
- Grey vehicles can be difficult to see, especially when it’s raining or foggy.
As with black vehicles, visibility appears to be behind the increased risk of a crash.
Silver cars are bright and vibrant, so they should be safe to drive, right? Well, it depends on who you ask. Some researchers have determined that silver cars are associated with a 10 percent greater crash risk than other color vehicles.
However, at least one study suggests that a silver car is 50 percent less likely to be in a crash than yellow cars, which are generally touted as the safest color car you can drive.
Silver cars might be associated with increased crash risk because:
- Silver cars can be difficult to see, especially under inclement weather conditions (e.g., rain, fog).
- Silver cars can blend into the background, particularly in cities where there are a lot of metal structures.
Researchers are divided on how safe (or dangerous) silver cars really are.
About 10 percent of the cars sold in the United States are blue. When it comes to crash risk, blue cars are right in the middle of the pack. They tend to be safer than the most dangerous color (black), but slightly riskier than the safest color (yellow). When compared to the safest color car, blue vehicles are associated with a 7 percent higher risk of a crash.
Blue cars might be associated with an increased risk of accidents because:
- Blue cars can sometimes blend into the background or sky, making them difficult to see.
Blue cars come in a lot of different shades. As it turns out, the shade of your blue car might affect the potential for an accident. Lighter color blue cars tend to be involved in fewer accidents than darker blue cars.
Many people actively avoid buying a red car because they believe red cars are pulled over by the police more than others. As it turns out, this is an old wive’s tale that doesn’t hold much water. It’s not really true. In fact, white cars are pulled over the most. So, many people may be passing on a vehicle that’s much safer than other color cars out on the road.
Like blue cars, red vehicles are in the middle when it comes to crash risk and color. They’re safer than black and grey cars, but slightly more dangerous than yellow or white. The risk of an accident while driving a red car might increase by about 7 percent when compared to the safest color car.
Red cars might be associated with an increased crash risk because:
- Even though red is a bright color, it can sometimes be difficult to see when there’s a lot of traffic. There are a lot of other red things on the road – including stop signs, traffic signals, brake lights, sirens.
Red cars might be a safer choice than dark color vehicles. However, it could also depend on the shade of red.
Green cars aren’t involved in many more accidents than the safest color cars on the road. However, research does suggest there’s a slight uptick in accidents involving green cars, when compared to safer colors such as pink or yellow.
Green cars might be involved in more accidents than other color vehicles because:
- Sometimes green cars can blend into the background, especially in rural areas that are dominated by grass and green backgrounds.
At the end of the day, green tends to be classified as the safest of the dangerous car colors.
The Safest Car Color Choices
Now that you know which car colors are dangerous, you need to know which ones tend to be the safest.
Yellow cars, according to at least one group of researchers, are the safest option. They tend to be involved in the fewest number of crashes, when compared with other car colors.
Yellow cars might be considered the safest color because:
- Yellow is a bold, bright color that doesn’t blend in easily.
If you think about it, there’s probably a reason why school buses tend to be bright yellow.
Some researchers are adamant that white – not yellow – is the safest color car. Studies suggest that white cars are about 12 percent less likely to be in an accident than black cars. That data is adjusted to reflect accidents under any condition at all times of the day.
White cars might be safer than others because:
- They don’t blend into their surroundings easily.
White and black cars are on the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to crash risk. However, they’re the two most popular color choices in America. White cars account for nearly 20 percent of all sales for CarMax.
Some people avoid orange cars for the same reason as red cars – the perceived risk of getting pulled over by the police. However, orange vehicles tend to be safer than others. Once again, it appears as though visibility is key. Orange is easy to see, which makes it easier to avoid in a crash.
Gold cars aren’t too common today. However, maybe they should be. Research suggests that gold vehicles are a much safer choice than darker options like grey or black. Why? Gold stands out.
Color Isn’t Everything
It’s important to remember that the color of your car isn’t the only thing that can influence the risk of getting into an accident. Other factors will still play a role. These might include:
- Distracted driving practices
- Drunk driving
- Fatigued driving
- Speeding and aggressive driving behaviors
- Failing to obey traffic safety laws, and
- Weather, traffic, and road conditions.
You won’t avoid an accident just because you bought a white car. The white color simply means that the likelihood of getting into an accident is less while you’re driving safely and obeying the law. If you’re texting behind the wheel of that white car, the color won’t mean much.
Call Our Austin Injury Lawyers After a Crash
Have you been injured in a car accident in Texas? You may be entitled to compensation for things like medical bills, lost income, and even chronic pain. Contact the skilled Austin personal injury attorneys at Lorenz & Lorenz, LLP for help with your injury claim or lawsuit. We have more than 17 years of experience handling complex car accident cases. We’ll fight to get you the money you deserve.
We offer a free consultation, so give us a quick call to schedule yours today.