Does The Colour Of A Car Affect Crash Risk?


When signing up for auto insurance, you’ll typically notice that insurance companies utilize specific factors to evaluate your insurance premiums. It can vary from one vehicle to another owner as each has its own crash risks and hazards.

If your vehicle, driving habits, and other associated circumstances are exposed to more accident risks, your insurance premiums tend to be more costly than the baseline. On the other hand, fewer crash risks mean cheaper premiums. As the vehicle owner and driver, it’s crucial to be informed of these matters.

Determining A Vehicle’s Crash Risk

When it comes to meeting accidents down the road, every vehicle has an estimated level of risk associated with it, which is known as its crash risk. Is a car equipped with updated safety features? Does your credit record have any connections with how much you’re exposed to crash risks?

Aside from the car itself, your driving record influences your crash risk. If you’ve been linked to driving reckless on the road before, your crash risk will be rated significantly higher regardless if you’ve improved now. Having a traffic violation in the past can further increase your crash risk, too.

Does Car Color Matter Down The Road?

Aside from these major factors, the color of a vehicle can also be a significant component in determining a car’s crash risk. In terms of the vehicle color, most car owners know that choosing a paint color depends on their aesthetic preference alone, but it’s also crucial to take crash risk into account.

As a rule of thumb, darker colors have higher risks of getting into accidents, primarily because they can be less visible and reflective from sight. If you have a late-night drive from work, which will you noticeably see better, a black car or a yellow car? Although all vehicles should have lights, a black car will be less visible than a yellow one as it blends with the surroundings.

Vehicle Color Vs. Accident Risk: A Closer Look

Darker-Colored Cars

In this 2007 study, black cars are 12% more likely to be involved in a car accident, followed by 11% for grey vehicles. These two colors are on the top of the crash risk list. If you’re still planning for your car’s paint color, you might want to lean against black and grey.

However, if those are your favorite colors and you don’t want to miss it getting painted into your car, you can still proceed painting your vehicle black or grey. But you have to exert more effort in making your black car stand out by using appropriate lighting to make your driving safer. In addition, here are more tips:

  • Have a bright yellow or orange pinstripe effect paint job
  • Attach a strip of reflector tape over the bumper
  • Add LED light rims on your preferred part of the car

Light- or Bright-Colored Cars

Since dark colors, like black and grey, are more inclined to road crashes, vehicles with lighter or brighter colors otherwise have lower crash risks as they stand out better in both daytime and nighttime. Vehicles that are colored with white, cream, yellow, orange, bright green, and the like have lower crash risks.

Meanwhile, there’s an exception with white cars in the colder regions of the globe. During snowfalls, white cars are the same color as snow, thus lowering their visibility and increasing their crash risks. If you live in an area experiencing snowfalls, you can consider having your car repainted during this period or entirely stay away from this color.

Car Color Vs. Crash Risk: Other Factors

When talking about crash risks of vehicle colors, another factor worth considering is the weather condition. Since weather varies day by day, your vehicle color can also have varying crash risks. Take note that the lighter and brighter colors mentioned above are safe from every weather condition, whether it’s the sun, rain, snow, fog, or even during the sunset, dusk, or dawn.

On the other hand, darker shades of red, blue, and green are in the middle of the spectrum. They’re relatively easier to see during the daytime, but their crash risks climb up when the surroundings get darker. These colors are 7% likely to get into an accident as they have similar colors with road structures like traffic lights and road signs.

Take-Home Message

Surprisingly, a car’s color can tell a lot about its safety risks. While colors can help determine a car’s crash risk, keep in mind that more factors come into play in terms of your road safety, so make sure to weigh them in as well. Most importantly, practice good driving habits to further minimize your risks of putting your own life down the road.