Does Car Color Really Affect Your Risk of a Crash?

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Legally reviewed by Alex Uriarte on August 26, 2022 Alex Uriarte is a member of the 1-800-Injured network.

Imagine you are buying a new vehicle and before you sit two cars: one silver and one red. Will your color choice increase your risk of a car accident? It’s just a color — it doesn’t impact the handling and there are no upgrades or fewer options on one or the other. Besides, you can hardly see the color while you’re driving. So why should your color selection matter?

Do you have any guesses about which car colors might be safest and which might be the most dangerous? How about why these colors might have different crash risks? The answer may surprise you. Below, we will talk about the safest and most dangerous car colors and why experts say color plays a role in crash risk.

The Safest Car Color

Believe it or not, the safest car color is white. Studies have shown that white cars have a 12% lower chance of being involved in an accident than the most dangerous of car colors. Silver cars are also relatively safe, while yellow and gold cars are associated with slightly higher risks when compared to silver, beige, or white vehicles.

If you started reading this thinking that color doesn’t have much of an impact on safety, you must be shocked to see a 12% difference for one color!

But what’s the most dangerous color?

The Most Dangerous Car Color

What’s your guess? If you picked red, you’ll have to guess again. It may come as a surprise, but black cars are the most dangerous on the road. Studies found that these vehicles are associated with a 12% higher chance of being involved in an accident when compared to white cars. 

Gray cars have an 11% higher risk of crashes compared to white vehicles, followed by blue or red — each with a 7% higher risk.

So, what is it about black cars that make them more dangerous than any other color on the road? The answer may again surprise you, but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Read on to find out.

Why Does Car Color Impact Crash Risk?

Why is black so much more dangerous than white for car color? The answer is simple — night visibility. When the sun goes down, it’s more difficult for other drivers to see black cars on the road. 

Black cars blend in with the darkness, making them more difficult to spot. They are also more difficult to notice during the day because they absorb more light than other colors and can blend into a driver’s peripheral vision easier. White cars, on the other hand, reflect light and are easier to spot both at night and during the day.

This may also explain why red is, surprisingly, one of the safer choices behind white and silver. Red is much easier to see in your peripherals during the daytime. However, red and black have nearly equal footing in terms of nighttime visibility, which is likely why they are both associated with similar risks.

This problem is compounded by the fact that many people drive without high beams at night, which can further obscure a black or dark-colored car. In many states, it is illegal to keep your high beams on when encountering on-coming traffic, so there isn’t a solution for this visibility issue.

It is important to note that while white cars are associated with the lowest risk of accidents, they are not immune to a crash, so don’t forget that you can’t drive like you’re invincible in a white vehicle.

Does Car Color Impact Insurance Rates?

It’s common knowledge that insurance companies consider many factors when calculating your premium, including the make and model of your car, your driving history, and where you live. But did you know that your car’s color could also have an impact?

Generally, insurers don’t consider car color when calculating rates, but there are exceptions. If you live in a rainy area, for example, insurers may charge you more if you have a white car since they are more difficult to spot in the rain, making them more likely to be in an accident — even though the color is statistically the safest. In some cases, red cars may also be charged a higher premium due to their association with high-risk driving behaviors like speeding.

At the end of the day, your car’s color is unlikely to have a major impact on your insurance rates, but it’s still something to keep in mind.

Choosing Your Next Car Color

So, what’s the best color to choose if you’re looking for the safest option? Silver or white are good choices since they are associated with a lower risk of accidents. If you’re looking for something a little more unique, red is also a surprisingly safer choice than most other colors.

Ultimately, the best color to choose is the one that you like best. Just remember to drive safely no matter what color your car is! In the event of an accident, remember to work with a personal injury attorney — no matter what color your vehicle is. Insurance companies use many factors when setting their premiums, and this is equally true when it comes to handling a claim. 

Insurance adjusters look for any reason to offer less than a claimant deserves, and it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that they would try to pin partial blame on the victim for driving a black car or imply that you may have been speeding if you drive a red car.

1-800-Injured is a medical and legal referral service that can put you in contact with a personal injury attorney for a free consultation right away. Before you begin your conversation with the insurer, regardless of car color, contact a lawyer to help initiate your insurance claim. An attorney can fight for the compensation you deserve.