Shopping for a new car can be exciting! With so many makes, models, and options, the sky is the limit. Of course, safety is a primary concern so you pay close attention to the safety rating. How are the airbags? Will the roof maintain its integrity in a roll-over?
While these are important factors to take into account, have you ever wondered how to avoid accidents? Quality brakes and steering are important, however, it turns out that the color of your car can affect the likelihood that you’ll be involved in a motor vehicle accident.
Are Certain Car Colors Safer?
You’re driving down the road, your full attention on the cars around you. You’re not talking or texting on your phone, fiddling with the radio, or even speeding. Suddenly, BAM! You t-bone another vehicle. Thankfully, you’re okay. But you can’t help but think, “He came out of nowhere.”
No one intends on getting into a car accident. But sometimes, despite being fully present, a driver can be hit or hit someone because they “just didn’t see them.”
There’s a very real possibility that based off the color of their car… you really didn’t see them.
What Color Car Gets Hit the Most?
Researchers have often studied the correlation between car color and their likelihood of being involved in an accident. One study found that black cars are 47% more likely to be involved in road accidents. As dark as they are, they can blend into the road or background scenery. During the day, black cars are 12% more likely to be involved in an accident, going up to 47% more likely during times when lighting is poor such as dawn or dusk.
Safest Car Colors
Knowing that dark colored cars like black, gray, or brown are more likely to be involved in accidents, it stands to reason that lighter colored vehicles would be safer. The research supports this. While lime yellow is the “safest” colored vehicle, it is not terribly popular. White is most easily seen in all conditions (with the exception of snow) making it the safest car color you can buy. Thankfully, it is also widely available (as opposed to lime yellow) and is the most popular car color.
Not a fan of white? Silver was also found to be a safe color for cars, reflecting light at night, and having similar visibility to white during the day. The challenge with silver comes from fog and dusk where it becomes much less visible. Keep this in mind if you live in a climate which is overcast more often than not.
What Color Cars Are Cheaper to Insure?
While some colors may be safer than others, when it comes to insuring your vehicle, your insurance agent is colorblind. They won’t even ask you what color the vehicle is as it doesn’t factor into the risk assessment run to determine your rates.
What matters more to your insurance carrier?
- Driving history including accidents and speeding tickets.
- The age of the vehicle, how often the specific make and model is involved in an accident, and how much it costs to repair.
But What About the Myth that Red Cars Have Higher Insurance and/or Get Pulled Over More?
You may have heard that red cars cost more to insure and are pulled over more often than other colors. We already know that insurance rates aren’t based off color, but do red cars attract more attention from police?
There is no research to suggest that red cars attract police attention more than any other. However, there are certain factors that will put you on a patrolman’s radar (no pun intended). This includes:
- Texting or talking on the phone without a hands-free device
- Not signaling lane changes
- Turning to talk to backseat passengers
- Having expired license plate tags or something visibly wrong with your car (lights that are out)
- Driving certain makes and models of vehicles (the worst ticketed car of the past few years is the Subaru WRX)
When it comes to attracting the attention of the police, stop stressing over the color of your car and focus on displaying good driving behavior and keeping your car properly maintained and registered.
Will Changing the Color of My Car Affect Insurance?
Maybe you already own your car and you are thinking about having it repainted. Before you take the plunge, you want to make sure that your color choice won’t affect your rates.
While you need to update your registration with the change in color, it will not affect the cost of your insurance. You should however notify your insurance agent just to make sure that it doesn’t somehow invalidate your policy.
If safety is your primary concern when purchasing a new vehicle, consider buying white to stay more visible on the road. No matter what color your choose, obey the law, be conscious and conscientious of fellow drivers, and bring your car in for regularly scheduled maintenance to keep it in proper working order. You’ll be less likely to be involved in an accident, and less likely to be pulled over. Happy driving!