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What Is the Safest Color Car to Drive, and Why? (Hint: You Probably Won't Like It.)

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 13-Nov-2017

Is there a car color that is safer on the road than others? Studies have narrowed it down to two—and from a strictly statistical point of view, you probably won’t care for either.

Here’s a hint: Have you ever wondered why virtually all New York taxis are yellow?

It’s true: Studies have shown that of all available colors, lime yellow is the most visible color against nearly every backdrop, from nighttime to fog to rain and snow. Taxis are painted yellow for the purpose of visibility—both so potential customers can see them, and so they can be spotted in inclement weather and at night. Visibility is the most important factor in automobile safety; if other drivers can see you, they can avoid you. Yellow cars tend to be in fewer accidents for the simple reason that they don’t blend in.

That said, if you’re like most people, you don’t care for the aesthetics of lime yellow, which is why you rarely see vehicles that color on dealer lots. As an alternative, you might want to go with the second safest color: plain old boring white.

White vehicles statistically fare nearly as well as lime yellow in studies, being visible day and night and in most weather conditions—the glaring exception being snow. (In snowy conditions, of course, the primary safety factor becomes tire traction even over visibility.) Unlike lime yellow, you can find white cars, trucks and SUVs in abundance on dealer lots, and while not particularly exciting, they are safer to drive.

What about other brighter colors, like red or orange? Not as safe as you think, according to the studies. Not only do people tend to drive faster in red cars, but red at night is almost the same as black, which understandably is the least safest color. Silver vehicles—also popular—do stand out in most conditions, but in certain rain and fog situations they can become almost camouflaged, so they, too, drop off the safety list.

Thus, if you want to drive a safer vehicle—unless you want to drive a used cab—buy white. To learn more about vehicle safety in general, check out our article here.

Our Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys can help if you’ve been injured in a traffic accident. Give us a call to learn more.

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