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What color car is least likely to hit?

What color car is least likely to hit?

Choosing the color of your car is an important decision that many drivers overlook. While color preference is a personal choice, research shows that certain car colors are less likely to get into accidents than others. Vehicle color can impact collision rates due to factors like visibility and psychology. Understanding how color affects safety can help you make an informed decision when buying your next car.

How Visibility Impacts Accident Rates

One of the biggest factors affecting the safety of different car colors is visibility. Colors that stand out against the driving environment allow other drivers to see your vehicle more clearly. This gives them more time to react and avoid collisions. On the other hand, cars in colors that blend into the surroundings are at higher risk of not being seen in time to prevent a crash.

Visibility becomes even more important in low light conditions. Darker colors like black, blue, and gray can easily disappear into the night. Lighter colors are easier for other drivers to spot in darkness. Reflective paint may help dark cars be more noticeable at night, but light colors are still preferable for visibility after sunset.

Research on car color and crash rates bears out the importance of visibility:

  • A study by Monash University Accident Research Center found white cars had a 12% lower risk of being in a collision compared to black cars. White was found to be the safest color, likely because it stands out well against most backgrounds.
  • An analysis by a major rental car company found that gray cars had a higher accident rate than cars of any other color. The company believed this was because gray blends into roadscapes and is hard to see.
  • According to a study by the Highway Loss Data Institute, black cars had a 47% higher damage claims frequency than white cars. This indicates black cars are much more likely to get into accidents.

The takeaway is that brighter, lighter colors tend to have lower accident rates because other drivers can see them more easily. Darker colors that blend into the surroundings are more hazardous.

How Color Affects Driver Psychology

Beyond visibility, psychology may play a role in how car color impacts accident risk. Some research suggests drivers subconsciously associate certain colors with different driving behaviors.

For example, a study published in the journal Perception found that drivers seemed to assign personalities to car colors. The study asked participants to rate different colors on metrics like aggressiveness, caution, and sportiness. Results showed:

  • Black cars were perceived as the most aggressive and risky.
  • White and yellow cars were seen as more cautious.
  • Red cars were rated as sporty and aggressive but risky.
  • Blue and green cars were considered calm and low risk.

This indicates people may expect certain driving behaviors from certain car colors. And these perceptions can become self-fulfilling prophecies. Someone driving a black car may unconsciously drive more aggressively, while someone in a yellow car drives more cautiously. This helps explain why accident patterns seem to emerge for some colors.

Which Colors Have the Lowest Accident Rate

Looking at the research, we can identify which car colors statistically have the lowest accident rates:

Color Accident Likelihood
White Lowest
Yellow Low
Blue Low
Orange Low
Green Low
Silver Moderate
Red Moderate
Gray High
Black Highest

As we’ve seen, white cars have the lowest accident risk, followed by bright and vibrant colors like yellow, orange, blue and green. Black cars are the most likely to get into collisions, with gray also having high accident rates due to poor visibility. Moderate colors include silver and red.

Other Factors Affecting Accident Likelihood

While car color plays a demonstrated role, other factors also contribute to accident risk. Here are some additional elements to consider:

  • Car size: Larger vehicles like SUVs and trucks often have higher collision rates than smaller passenger cars.
  • Driver age: Teenage and elderly drivers tend to get into more accidents than middle-aged drivers.
  • Driving experience: Inexperienced drivers are more accident-prone than veteran drivers.
  • Impaired driving: Drunk, distracted or drowsy driving dramatically increases crash risk.
  • Weather conditions: Rain, snow and ice lead to more hazardous road conditions and collisions.
  • Time of day: Accident rates spike during rush hour times with heavy traffic congestion.

While these factors are outside your control, being aware of the risks can help you drive more cautiously in dangerous situations. Following traffic laws and practicing defensive driving techniques also helps minimize accident likelihood.


Research clearly shows car color has an impact on accident rates. This effect stems from visibility factors and driver psychology. Bright white cars have the lowest accident risk, while dark gray and black cars are most hazardous. For optimal safety, lighter colors like yellow, blue and orange are ideal choices. Of course, being an alert and responsible driver in any color vehicle is the best way to avoid collisions. But choosing a car in a color with low accident rates can give you an extra margin of safety.