If you drive a black car, be careful! According to an international study black cars are up to 47 per cent more likely to be involved in crashes. A 20-year study revealed black cars to be the most “dangerous”, and white, gold and yellow to be the safest.
The reason lies not in who is behind the wheel, but in the visibility of their vehicle, the researchers say.
Black, grey, silver, red and blue fail to stand out against the background of the road, scenery and other traffic.
The research team from Monash University in Australia scrutinised police data on 850 000 accidents for information on the car, the time of day and the type of prang.
Commercial vehicles, including taxis and white vans, were excluded from the mix.
After trying to take into account the possibility that drivers who take risks might be drawn more to some colours than others, they found black cars to be most accident prone.
During daylight hours, they were up to 12 per cent more likely to be involved in crashes than white vehicles, while at dawn and dusk, the figure rose to 47 per cent. Grey and silver cars were the next most risky, followed by red and blue.
Interestingly, the study hinted that orange cars may be even safer than white ones – although the scientists could not be confident about this.
They said that although their findings seem to suggest that steering customers away from black cars would make the roads safer, this might not necessarily be the case.
This is because having lots more white cars on the road would mean there was less contrast between vehicles and so make them harder to spot.
According to researcher Dr Stuart Newstead, campaigns to modify vehicle colour choice could alter the crash risk for the fleet, colour is a much less influential crash risk modifier than behavioural traits such as drink-driving, and speeding.
(Source: the journal Safety Science Reports).
News source: Mooivaal Media – Vaalweekblad