How Different Car Colors Affect Your Chances of Getting into an Accident

Next time you're in the market for a car, you may want to keep this color in mind.

A lot of thought goes into buying a new car, like what the interior and exterior features are, how the engine runs and its safety technology. So perhaps the most enjoyable part of the process is deciding what color you want. As it turns out, certain car colors may increase your chances of getting into an accident.

Safest Car Colors

According to Kelley Blue Book, silver is the most popular car color, with white as a close second. But when it comes to safety, white is best, according to Monash University’s Accident Research Centre.

The study says white cars are 12 percent less likely to get into an accident than black cars, regardless of the time of day. Cream, yellow and beige also ranked closely behind white. In some studies, yellow actually surpassed white as the safest color.

Most Dangerous Car Colors

Besides black, which ranked as most dangerous, other problematic car colors include gray (11 percent higher risk), silver (10 percent), blue and red (both seven percent).

Why the Difference?

Well, the difference between light-colored and dark-colored cars is pretty intuitive: Light-colored cars are easier to see.

“The reason brightly colored vehicles like white and yellow cars are less likely to be involved in an accident is the same reason they’re less likely to be stolen: visibility,” says Jake McKenzie, content manager at Auto Accessories Garage. “A white car is much easier to see … than a darkly colored car.”

This is certainly true at night. But even in daylight, darker-colored cars offer less contrast with the road. “The better other drivers are able to see you, the more likely they are to hit the brakes before it’s too late,” McKenzie says.

It’s Only a Small Difference

A 12 percent difference is not insignificant, of course. But keep in mind many other factors play a far bigger role in car accidents. Things like the quality of your driving, visibility, the weather conditions, the condition of your car and the attentiveness of other drivers.

If you’re suddenly nervous about getting a black car, don’t be. Just keep in mind the color alone doesn’t mean it’s destined to be accident-prone.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest