Skip to Content

What car color is the safest?

What car color is the safest?

When purchasing a new car, there are many factors to consider – price, fuel efficiency, performance, and more. One important but often overlooked consideration is safety. While newer cars generally have excellent safety ratings thanks to advanced engineering and technology, the exterior color you choose can also impact collision and accident risk. So when it comes to picking the safest car color, which options rank the highest?

Visibility and Conspicuity

One of the biggest contributors to car color safety is visibility. Bright, light, and high-contrast colors are naturally more conspicuous on the road. Darker, dull, low contrast colors, on the other hand, can visually blend into the surroundings, making them harder to see. Research has shown that the most visible colors from furthest distances are white, yellow, orange, red, blue, green, grey, black, silver, gold, beige, brown, and purple, in that order. White is up to 26% more visible than black during the daytime. At night, light colors with retroreflective properties like white, yellow, and silver become even more conspicuous.

Increased visibility leads to lower accident risk. Other drivers are more likely to spot your conspicuous vehicle earlier, giving them extra time to react and avoid collisions. This effect has been studied extensively with evidence supporting color as a key factor in daytime and nighttime conspicuity for decades. Brighter colors also visually communicate to other drivers that a car is close by on the road compared to darker, less visible colors.

Psychological Associations and Driving Behavior

Beyond straight visibility, some research indicates that car color may influence driver behavior and risk-taking. Certain colors are associated with feelings of safety, caution, aggression, and more. These associations can unconsciously impact driving habits.

For example, darker and muted tones like black, grey, and brown are commonly seen as more conservative. Drivers of these vehicle colors may intuitively drive more carefully and cautiously as a result. Brighter tones like white, yellow, pink, and lime green conversely give off more playful, lively impressions. These colors are sometimes correlated with younger drivers and risky driving behaviors like speeding as a result.

Color psychology and connections to driving behavior are complex, subjective, and still being studied. But some patterns stand out. In claims analysis by insurance companies, sports cars in red, black, silver, or yellow are consistently involved in more speeding claims than average across vehicle types. Shared meaning from traffic signals likely plays a role. Red and yellow are colors of caution in driving contexts. This translates into a feeling of impulsiveness behind the wheel.

Safest Car Colors by the Data

Comprehensive driving data provides objective insights into the safest car colors. By compiling and analyzing collision statistics, trends and risk levels among colors emerge.

Color Relative Collision Risk
White Lowest Risk
Yellow Low Risk
Orange Slightly Below Average Risk
Red Average Risk
Blue Average Risk
Gray Slightly Above Average Risk
Silver Slightly Above Average Risk
Black Highest Risk

In multiple studies analyzing millions of auto claims, white repeatedly emerges as the safest car color. White cars have consistently lower collision involvement compared to other common vehicle colors. White’s high visibility seems to override any risky color psychology associations. Black cars have the highest crash rate in nearly all studies, confirming theVisibility and Conspicuity dangers of low conspicuity. Differences between other colors are smaller, but yellow proves safer than darker options.

A massive analysis of over 50,000 fatal collisions by the NHTSA found white cars had a 16% lower incidence rate compared to the overall average. Black cars had a 47% higher incidence rate. Similar large-scale analysis of insurance claims have corroborated these findings.

Specialized research controlling for factors like driver age and location also supports the advantages of white, yellow, and lighter colors. In a Florida study of over 185,000 crashes, controlling for variables, white vehicle drivers had a 12% lower at-fault crash rate than the overall fleet. Black and grey vehicle drivers consistently had 10-15% higher at-fault rates.

Picking a Safe Color

While personal color preference is an important factor in choosing your car’s paint job, safety should also be considered. Visibility and psychology both come into play. Objective driving data confirms white and other bright, light colors like yellow give you advantages on the road. Black and other dark, muted tones conversely come with higher crash and collision risk. Brighter colors also tend to hold up better aesthetically over time compared to darker colors when it comes to resisting scratches, swirls, and showing dirt.

If safety is your top priority, white is the safest choice. Yellow ranks high as well. Both give you maximal conspicuity day or night thanks to brightness and visual contrast. You’ll also likely get some extra cautious driving benefit from the psychology of “safety colors.” If you still prefer a darker color for style or other reasons, be extra vigilant on the road. Prioritize lighting, reflectors, signals, and other visibility aids to help compensate for low conspicuity. Avoid adding darker tints to windows that further reduce your car’s visibility to others.

While car color shouldn’t be the only factor in your decision, paying attention to visibility, psychology, and objective safety records can help you pick practical colors that get you noticed while also looking sharp.


The safest car colors based on visibility, psychology, and crash data are white, yellow, orange, red, blue, and lighter shades. White consistently is proven to have the lowest collision and accident risk thanks to high conspicuity day and night. Black and darker grey colors are the most dangerous because of poor visibility. While personal preference matters, choosing a safer color like white or yellow gives you advantages through better visibility and cautious psychology associations. Prioritizing conspicuity aids on darker cars can help offset risks. Consider both style and safety as you pick your next car color.