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Drive a black car? You may be more likely to be involved in an accident

By Rigval on 26 Jun 2010

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A team from the Monash University in Australia has revealed that black cars are close to 50% more likely to be involved in accidents. The study published in the Safety Science journal, which was reported to have comprised of data collected over a period of 20 years has shown that a black car is the most dangerous colour (or non-colour, since its black). It was also concluded that the other, somewhat dangerous coloured cars to drive around in are grey, silver, red and blue coloured cars. This is as the cars in this colours somehow blends in better with the background or the road, scenery or other cars. In short, a car with the colours mentioned above do not stand out in a sea of traffic and scenery.

The researchers looked through as many as 850,000 accident date from the police for information on the car, the time of the accident and the type of accident. They somehow did not look at commercial vehicles, like taxis and delivery vans, even though I somehow think that these vehicles usually have a higher change of getting involved in an accident as they ply the streets more than other people do.

Anyway, the researchers, who have basically dedicated their lives to reviewing accident after accident have found that during daylight, black cars were approximately 12% more likely to meet up with an accident over white vehicles and if it goes dark, throughout dusk till dawn the chances of a black car meeting with an accident rose to 47%.

So we now know that a black car is the most susceptible to getting involved in accidents. What are the safest colours to drive around in then? According to the researchers, white, gold and yellow cars are the safest, but they also mentioned that orange may be even safer than white cars. This fact may be true as some dive watches have bright orange dials and harp on this fact.

Of course, the study goes on to say that while their findings suggest that if people buy less black cars there could be less accidents, it may not be entirely true as they then say that if everyone bought white cars this would then result in less colour contrast on the roads resulting in the vehicles really blending into one another. Imagine every car being white or yellow, now that won't do too. They go on and state that colour is a much less influential crash risk modifier than behavioural traits such as drink-driving, and speeding. They also then conclude that 'It may be possible that simple solutions such as the use of daytime running lights or headlights could effectively negate the elevated risks of higher risk vehicle colours.'; which is what Audi, Porsche, Mercedes and almost all the big names have started using.

Having actually driven and maintained a black 1981 Honda Civic for a long time (still own it actually) and then a silver car, I think that I had better luck driving the silver car as I remember being reversed into by another driver while driving the black car a long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away). The driver said she didn't see me as she slotted in reverse and just went straight into the Civic's bumper and grill. Back then I was a lowly student, so it was painful if you know what I mean. I Never had that problem in my silver car and nothing of that 'being invisible' kind of feeling while driving my current white coloured ride. Research like this makes you ponder a little.

Or you could buy one of these (pic below) as everyone will see you even if your car is black.

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motoring, accident, black cars and 2 more...

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

  • 1
Patronic Jun 26 2010 02:07 PM
It's the skill and judgment of the driver not make or 'color' of the car that causes accidents. They're just plain BSing trying to find excuses for every s--t that they encountered...
Jaf78 Jun 27 2010 10:50 AM
may be there are so......many black cars in australia
Acanthus Jun 28 2010 12:20 AM
What kind of study is this?

The findings are nothing out of the ordinary as Black, grey, silver, red and blue coloured cars are the more popular colours isn't it?

I'm sure pink cars with purple polka dots are the safest then.
Rigval Jun 28 2010 02:23 PM
This kind of study is the same kind of study that allows researchers to actually tell the general public that they are doing something. Which is really nothing much in the first place.

It is the same like the researchers that found out that it is dangerous even while talking via a bluetooth device while driving.
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