Does Car Colour Really Determine Crash Risk?

By No tags

When your profession means you spend hours in a car, van or truck every day, you want to minimise your crash risk.  This means driving safely, observing others on the road and having your vehicle regularly serviced and maintained. But, what about the colour of your vehicle? Does it really matter what colour you have and is there any increased risk of an accident based solely on the colour you choose?

The Facts About Car Colour And Crash Risk

safest car colour

Monash University conducted an investigation of the relationship between car crashes and car colour back in 2007. The sample for the study was selected by car accidents reported to police across two states. Statistics showed that black, blue, red, green and silver cars were associated with higher crash risk and that no other colour seemed to be any safer than white. Why is this the case?

Well, car colour alone is not a factor. Weather conditions make certain car colours harder to identify. Bright sun can cause ‘blindness’ with silver vehicles, and Australia sure has a lot of bright and sunny days! Darker days, rain and storms can reduce the visibility of darker colours if there isn’t proper street lighting, or the headlights of the oncoming vehicle aren’t switched on.

There is not one colour alone which stands out as safer solely based on colour. There are many factors at play in any car accident, however, there does seem to be trends in colour and crash statistics, yet not enough to come outright and say that one colour is safer than another. It is also a myth that car colour can determine the rate of your insurance premiums. We associate red cars as flashy and a choice for sports cars such as a Porshe, but the policy for each car is based on many factors such as parking, neighbourhood, value, make and model, not colour.

Car Colour And Safety For Professional Drivers

car colour and car safety

If you look at professions where driving is the main activity, in Australia the colour of vehicles does tend to be predominantly white. Most transit, delivery and removals vans tend to be white in colour and taxis tend to also be white. Big rigs have brightly coloured and branded containers, but most truck cabins tend to be white too.

Relying on vehicle colour alone to protect you from an accident will no doubt increase your chances of having one!  Make sure that you follow all the road rules ALL of the time and change your driving behaviour according to weather conditions. When driving in bright sunlight, invest in high-quality sunglasses with polarised lenses and leave extra distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Popping on your headlights on long, interstate roads can also make you more visible to oncoming drivers. When the weather is bad slow down, give yourself extra space between vehicles and ensure your headlights are on. Keep vigilant, rest when tired and never be distracted by your mobile phone.

Overall car colour is not a sole reason for an increased crash risk, but it seems that white is the choice for the driving professional!