Car Colour and Crash Risk: Should You Really Care?

People have different reasons for choosing the colour of their car.  But when it comes to safety, does the colour of your car make a difference?

According to a Monash University study, there is a direct link between the colour of the car you drive and the risk of having a crash. Why is this?

The simple fact is that white is the most highly visible colour, especially when viewed against the dark road surface. So it is deemed to be the safest colour – not red, not yellow.

While the study done at Monash University goes into great detail, it can be simplified by noting that the least visible colours are in the darker spectrum, colours that seem to merge into the background.

So what about red cars?

Unfortunately, these too are considered to be on the dark side, along with blue, grey, green, black and even silver. If you take particular notice the next time you are driving in less than ideal conditions, you will see that these darker colours do merge into the background at a distance, and you cannot tell if it is a car or not. Even in broad, sunny daylight if you are on a long, straight stretch of road, the cars in the far distance seem to become one with the road.

For the drivers of such cars the risk of a crash escalates, but for all drivers, regardless of the colour of their vehicle, there are times when driving conditions increase the risk of accidents, including:
•    Heavy rain
•    Fog
•    Snow
•    Sleet
•    Dark conditions such as dusk, and
•    Sunset or sunrise – if we are driving straight into the sun.

While research has shown that a white car is significantly less likely to be involved in any crash due to its better visibility, if you drive safely and act courteously towards other drivers and pedestrians, the road will become a safer place for cars of all colours.

Does Car Colour Affect Insurance?

There is no difference in the cost of insurance for a car due to its colour. The myth that red cars cost more to insure is just that: a myth. Insurance companies determine premiums based on a whole series of factors, but colour is not one of those factors.

For NSW drivers it always pays to shop around for the best deal on car insurance, including your CTP green slip.  The green slip calculator on this site allows you to compare prices for all seven greenslip insurers.

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