Car Color and Crash RiskClick For Your Free Consulation
Many factors go into causing a car accident. Road and weather hazards, vehicle malfunctions, and lighting can affect your odds of crashing your vehicle. But the main factor in most crashes is driver behavior. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the critical factor in 94% of crashes is driver error and behavior.
Research also shows that car color might play a role in crash risk. However, this research gives inconsistent results. If you get injured in a crash in New York, NY, a lawyer from the Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers can keep the focus on the other driver’s dangerous driving and off the color of your car.
Table of Contents
Since 2007, the Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers has fought at-fault parties and their insurers on behalf of injured clients in New York, New York. Our lead attorney has worked for over 30 years in personal injury law, including over a decade defending insurers against injury claims.
If you suffer an injury in a collision, our New York City car accident lawyer will provide the following:
Under New York’s no-fault insurance system, you have limited options for pursuing compensation from the at-fault driver. Contact the Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to learn about your right to car crash compensation under New York law.
The impact of car color on crash risk is based on two hypotheses. First, certain personality types choose certain colors for their cars. These personality types might tend to take greater risks. Therefore, the colors of their vehicles would predict their likelihood of causing a crash.
Second, and more simply, certain colors might be more difficult to spot under various conditions. This theory makes sense. Silver, gray, or white cars might get lost in glare on sunny days. Drivers might have difficulty spotting black or navy blue cars on unlit roads at night.
Studies have not looked into either of these phenomena. And they might be overshadowed by other factors. For example, the tens of thousands of crashes caused by rush hour traffic might drown out the few dozen crashes resulting from glare. And crashes resulting from dark cars on dark roads might get lost among thousands of drunk driving collisions.
The statistics bear these theories out. In 2022, car crash statistics provided by NYC Open Data show only 195 crashes caused by glare and 29 crashes caused by defective headlights or street lights. With a total of 103,875 traffic accidents that year in NYC, glare only represented 0.2% of all crashes, and poor lighting only accounted for 0.03% of all crashes.
From these statistics, you can infer that car color plays a minimal role in crash risk.
Two studies have looked at car color and crash risk. These studies came to different conclusions. More importantly, even though they found that different-colored vehicles appear to get into crashes at different rates, none of these studies tested any reasons for why this happens.
An at-fault driver could try to raise car color as a defense to negligence. Specifically, the driver might try to blame the color of your car for the collision rather than their negligent driving.
Fortunately, courts only allow expert witnesses to present reliable scientific theories to juries. Since the scientific studies differ in their conclusions, their theories are probably too unreliable to be admitted as evidence.
The two main studies about car color and crash risk include the following:
The first study looked at about 15 months of crash records in Auckland, New Zealand. This analysis showed that black, green, and brown cars were roughly twice as likely to crash as white cars. The researchers also found that silver and gray cars were roughly half as likely to crash as white cars.
A second study, completed about three and a half years later, produced very different results. This study looked at crash data in New Zealand and Australia spanning 22 years. This study found that gray, silver, red, green, and blue cars have a higher crash risk.
These results conflict with the results of the University of Auckland study, with the exception of green. These wholesale inconsistencies make the theory connecting color and crash risk too unreliable to draw any concrete conclusion.
Car crashes can happen regardless of the color of your car. Contact the Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers at (212) 564 2800 for a free consultation to discuss your crash and how we can counter the defenses raised by the other driver.
Search Our Site