Is there a connection between car color and safety?

When buying a car, most people will choose the color of the car according to their preferences without considering the relationship between car color and safety. Some people may be wondering, is there a connection between color and traffic accidents?

A study from State Farm (Australia’s largest auto insurance company) shows that cars of different colors have obvious differences in the frequency of crashes and other traffic accidents. From the data point of view, black cars are the most prone to traffic accidents, followed by gray or silver cars. A white car is the safest. The safer colors of black are yellow, red, and green. During the day, the frequency of accidents in black cars is 12% higher than that in white cars. In the early morning or evening, the probability of a black car accident is 1.5 times that of a white car.

Image by Steen Jepsen from Pixabay

What makes black cars more dangerous than other colors?

Related research has shown that there is a certain connection between color characteristics and safety. This is also the reason for the difference in the frequency of traffic accidents between cars of different colors. The first related color characteristic is forward and backward, which is the so-called forward color and backward color. For example, if there are four red, yellow, blue, and green cars keeping the same distance from you, you will feel that the red and yellow cars should be closer to you. The blue and green cars look further away. Among these four colors, yellow and red are forward colors, and blue and green are backward colors. People tend to be more careful about vehicles that are closer to them.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Another color characteristic related to safety is swelling and shrinking. This feature causes the same body to be painted with different colors, which will give people the feeling of different sizes. Generally speaking, yellow gives people a greater visual effect, which is a swelling color. The same volume of green or blue feels smaller in volume and is a shrinking color. Vehicle accident investigations in the United States and Japan show that blue and green cars have a higher frequency of accidents than yellow cars. This can explain to a certain extent that the visual perception of inflated colors is more obvious.

Finally, the brightness of colors in people’s vision is different. According to this characteristic, the color can be divided into two types: light color and dark color. Red, yellow, and white are light colors, they look brighter and easier to recognize. The dark car looks lower in brightness, smaller in size, and farther away. People tend to relax their vigilance against dark vehicles.

Although the accident rate of vehicles of different colors is different, don’t worry too much if your vehicle is black. The color of the vehicle has never been the main factor leading to traffic factors. As long as you drive normally according to traffic rules, the probability of a traffic accident is extremely low.

10 Responses to “Is there a connection between car color and safety?”

  1. zitingy says:

    Thank you very much for your reply. I think the reason red is the forward color is because of our visual perception, just as red is more warm than blue. Maybe I should study the relationship between redshift and blueshift and them.
    I think what you said is right, black is indeed more like the color of the road. People will notice it because it is easier to distinguish white cars from roads.
    The higher accident rate in the early morning and evening should be related to whether or not the lights are on. After all, in the early morning and evening, it is really difficult to choose whether to turn on the lights, even if it is not obvious. Dark-colored cars may not be easy to notice at this time. At night, it is easier to notice the lights of dark cars, rather than them.
    Thank you.

  2. zitingy says:

    I’m not sure, but I think there should be no inevitable relationship between accident-prone drivers and colors. I think color is more related to gender. Men and women have their favorite colors.

  3. zitingy says:

    Thank you very much for your help, I will modify it to make it better.

  4. zitingy says:

    I think it should be. The purpose of the investigation of the connection between the accident and the color conducted by the car insurance company is to adjust the insurance cost of the car according to the color.

  5. zitingy says:

    Thanks for your advice. I am looking for a suitable picture, but it is a bit difficult.

  6. asiska says:

    Great article Yule! now I’m thinking never considering buy a black car. I love the simple idea behind, the simple sentence, the word choice. But, I may think added more pictures would be great!

  7. Janine Jaramillo says:

    Never thought about this until now. Thanks Ziting!

    It reminded me of an article I read the other day how Australians who drive a black car are paying more for car premium insurance than other colours. I wonder whether this is behind that?

  8. Nuoyan QI says:

    Hi Ziting, I really enjoyed this blog. I think this topic is great because it connects to everyone’s daily life. The overall writing structure is clear and you explained the relation between car colors and traffic accidents very well with forceful evidence that includes researches and data. There are no jargons or content I don’t understand. I think this is one of the most easy to follow blog I have ever read. However, I think there is a typo in line 7. Moreover, using sub-headings may make the overall sturcture even more clearer.

  9. George B says:

    Hi Zitingy,

    What an interesting concept! Especially seeing as black, white and silver cars are the most popular colours of cars in Australia.

    I found the idea that red and yellow cars are forward colours compared to green and blue to be really interesting. Why is that? Does it have something to do with red-shift and blue-shift?

    I wonder if another reason for black cars being over represented in vehicle collisions is due to the fact that the road tends to be a very dark colour and thus the black car blends in? You mentioned that black cars are 1.5 times more likely to be in an accident in the early morning and late evening but not at night? Do you think that that is due to people not having their lights on in the morning and evening?

    The other thing that occurs to me is the climate of the region. Black cars heat up more quickly in the sun than white/silver or lighter coloured cars. I guess this poses a different kind of danger but can be dangerous for people sitting in their cars for a long time. It could also require more fuel to keep the air conditioning going. I addition, if they heat up enough in the sun it can damage the plastics and electronics in the car over time. While this is obviously a disadvantage in a hot country like Australia, in colder places like Canada, Northern USA and Northern Europe this could be an advantage as the car will be warmer and not require so much heating.

    Lots of things to think about!


  10. Thanks for an interesting read Ziting! I’m curious now, do you know if there is any correlation between accident-prone drivers and car colour?