What Does Color Have to do With Anything?

What's color got to do with it?

What’s color got to do with it?

The idea that there may be a correlation between your car’s paint and your own safety may sound ludicrous, but research has turned up some intriguing results arguing that such a correlation does indeed exist. A 2003 study published in the British Medical Journal suggests that silver cars are up to 50% less likely than white ones to be implicated in a road accident ending in serious injury.

Before a recent Monash University Accident Research Center study, little was understood about the correlation between car color and crash risk, and what research was available was inconclusive.

“Previous international studies have examined vehicle visibility and colour but have not fully taken into account other factors that may have an impact on crash risk, such as driver demographics,” says Jack Harley, NRMA motoring and services specialist.

MUARC used the colour classifications black, blue, brown, cream, fawn, gold, green, grey, maroon, white, mauve, orange, pink, purple, red, silver and yellow, placing other nuances of colors in the best fitting category. Factor such as light conditions at the time of the crash, vehicle type, and caliber of the accident were also taken into account. Commercial vehicles and taxi cabs were not included in the study.

The Monash University study uncovered some interesting results, namely, that colors such as blue, gray, black, red, green, and silver rank much lower on the visibility index and are at a notably higher risk of being implicated in an accident. Furthermore, Monash University’s research suggests that a car’s color is also linked to the severity of the crash, with low visibility colors being at higher risk of a more severe crash. No color tested was found to be safer than white, but some were nearly as safe. The link between color and crash risk was most notable during daylight hours, which makes since because at night the color of a car bears little weight in it’s visibility.



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