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Is there a correlation between car color and accidents?

Do red cars get more speeding tickets?

More car color stories

Is there a correlation between car color and accidents?

Maria Campsall
I was just broad sided by grey coloured car today. I did not see the car before I made a left hand turn. I did not see lights on the car, before I made the turn. It seemed to come out of nowhere. This is not the first time this has happened to me....the first time I escaped by the skin of my teeth. Grey car owners beware....turn on your lights when driving DAY or night....and watch out for people making left hand turns...you blend into the road too much.

 Steve and Lori
We owned a 1986 "charcoal Gray" Subaru Wagon. In the 3 years that we owned this car it was hit while stationary 6 times. After the 6th time we said "adios" and got a different car. I understand that Subaru also discontinued this color near the same time. It was a mid-range gray color that evidently doesn't fit into some people's visual range at dusk or afterwards

My cousin owns a body shop. Before buying my last car I asked which color would be best. "Anything but silver - grey. Those cars are over 65% of my business. They seem to get hit all the time!" I bought a bright red convertible. Haven't had a ticket or accident in over 20 years. I'll keep on with the red that I love so much.

I drive a lime green vw and it's about killed me. It seems that when driving in areas where there is high amounts of green (corn fields, forest areas, etc.) people can't see surroundings. Now I haven't had this problem sitting still, only when moving so watch out if you buy the new VW bugs and it's green.

I own a "Champaigne" colored honda. When I first purchased the car I noticed a higher frequency of people pulling out in front of me from stop signs, etc. Since that time I have started driving with my lights on at all times. This seems to make my car more visible, and has resulted in fewer people pulling out in front of me.

I once owned an 1980 "sand-beige" ford escort. "sand-beige" is a metallic goldish color which looks much nicer and honey-toned in the showroom than it does on the street. In the 4 years that I owned the car, it was hit 11 times. Each time it was either completely stopped at a light, stopsign or parked. Apparently, this is a hard color to see, particularly on sunny days. Now, I drive a black VW and have not been in an accident in 5 years.

red carThe Facts from Color Matters:
No, no, no! Color is not used to calculate auto insurance rates. Information that is used includes the vehicle's year, make, model, body type and engine size, as well as information about the driver. For instance, you'll see high rates if you own a new blue 400-horsepower Chevrolet Corvette V-8 and have a poor driving record -- but lower rates if you have a red Toyota Camry four-cylinder sedan and a good record.
Source: A survey conducted by DriveSM Insurance



Consumer Color Preferences

Do red cars get more speeding tickets?

Hi Susan . . . While I don't have an answer to your question about red cars getting more speeding tickets, I may be able to point you in the direction of a place to look for related information. . . Several years ago when I was contemplating repainting my car Red, a friend in the car repair business for many years talked me out of it. Why? Red cars, he said, get into more accidents than cars any other color . . . He said his experience with several car repair firms bore this out . . . It might be interesting to call a few repair shop owners and see what they say about this . . . Just a thought! Good luck! Ro

Donna, I suggest you simply call State Farm or Allstate or the AAA. I believe they have comprehensive records that correlate car color to accident rates. You may be able to draw some correlations between vehicle velocities and the accident histories. I suspect you'll find that 'in general' there is a tendency for red car owners to be more zealous. (Keep in mind, they would have had to have the option during their purchase to buy another color...maybe the particular car they bought only was available in red that day). I also suspect you'll find that white car owners show some unique character traits...as with green, etc. too. Again, if they didn't have a wide choice of colors when they got the car, then, the significance may be irrelevant. Try the insurance companies for data. Regards, Mac

Ro and Chris both offer good advice. You might try triple A or some other insurance company. Better yet, contact Tom and Ray Magliozzi at Cartalk. They have a website on which you can post questions and, perhaps, get an answer. It's worth a shot. You also might see if there's any gov't bureau with such stats. Good Luck.

Folks... SPORTS CARS ARE USELESS! Get something invisible. Something old, plain, and conservative. It's not just RED... it's the sportiness / flashiness. You know cops love to write tickets to BMW's too. A granny in an 8 year old Buick is a completely different story.

Here's the tally for my family: 3 white Audi (two dismissed - one pending) 1 yellow Audi (dismissed) 0 red Audi (and she's the one with the lead foot!!!) 5 drivers total 5 years

I owned a red Pontiac Firebird (still mourning the sale of it) and had a speeding ticket on the highway less than one week of owning it. Was I speeding? Yep, only because I was late for work though... my fault. BUT... I think the police are on the lookout for such cars, and here is why. I decided to get a radar detector as I was driving 113 miles one way for work and couldn't afford any more tickets. The detector alerted me of a trooper ahead, so I slowed down to 50MPH in a 55MPH zone. As I came around a curve, the detector lit up like a missle launch once my car was viewed by the trooper. So "my" opinion here... color, type, make of auto... all will affect the way people drive as well as how they are 'perceived' by others to be driven. Hope this helps and sorry for such a long story :) Don

Thorne Hartford
You might try calling the California Highway Patrol or your own state police to see if they can direct you to information on the subject. Do know that small red sports cars driven by men do seem according to a CHP friend to get stopped more often due to the cocky attitude of the male driver...I think it is unfair as I think unwashed ratty cars are a bigger problem since Insurance Agencies say these drivers are less attentive..

Anonymous (EDITOR'S NOTE:  This is a myth! Red cars are not banned in Brazil. The following comment is amusing)
I'm not suprised that they would prohibit Red cars in Ecuador and Brazil. I guess statistics don't lie, eh? Someday the Brazilians will realize that when manufacturers make Red cars, they've programmed them to have collisions and put in overpowered engines and loose steering, defective turn-signals, and faulty brakes. Maybe they'll realize that there is a covert action where the car salesmen only sell Red cars to hyper active lunatics that have had their driving licenses revoked....etc. etc. The rules and laws created to regulate people and societies are just hysterically silly sometimes....

Simone Basilio
I don't know where people find these crazy things about Brazil. I am collecting all these funny "misinformations" to send to my Brazilian friends. Red cars prohibited in Brazil??? It's absolutely untrue!!!

Anonymous- UK
In the UK, there is an urban myth that the traffic police play Automobile Snooker(AS). In the original game of snooker, a player tries to pot balls on a billiard table. After potting a red ball (which is worth one point) the player then tries to pot a coloured ball. You get two points for a yellow, three for green, four for brown, five for blue, six for pink and seven for black. If you pot the cue ball (which is white) you have four points taken away. Transferred to the open road this means that if your local police are playing AS, you are 15 times more likely to get a speeding ticket (there are 15 reds on a snooker table) if you have a red car than any other coloured car but white. If you have a white car, you're pretty unlikely to get pulled over.

Color Symbolism
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I drive a white car. Would never drive another color. Guess what? People who drive white cars are in the white car click. I always let people who drive white cars get in front of me. They always do the same for me too. From now on, take a moment and notice the white car click. You will always see 2 or more white cars together..even driving along the highway. We help each other out. COOL WHITE.

Mac A Meleon
Gee Wiz, I drive a chameleon colored car. We have a click too! One of our joys is to find white cars. We let the people in white cars get in front of us. We've really noticed this white car click. When we see a white car, we always join it - so the guys in the white cars will always think that white cars travel in pairs. We really have them fooled! COLOR CHAMELEON CAR. :-)

Yes,well you white cars really should be more carefull. I drive a cement truck that is painted a deep shade of asphalt,(with matching yellow go faster stripes), and I am not sure you white cars are looking in your rear view before hopping onto the interstate.I was busy doing my regular route,tossing out pebble projectiles,trying to spider web as many unsuspecting cars,(all colors,no predujice),and I was very nearly cutoff by the courteous car brigade the other day. Remember,objects in your mirror are really so much closer than you think.

Anonymous - USA
I have this thing for white cars since I discovered they don't look that dirty even when they're filthy. When I was shopping for my white Honda Accord, the first salesman asked me what color I wanted. I replied, "White." Then he proceded to ask me what my second color choice was, to which I replied, "White." USA

Anonymous - USA
The person who commented about white cars never looking dirty even when they're filthy is absolutely RIGHT! I am now driving my first non-white car and I've already decided that my next car will be white again. The funny thing is that in talking about white cars, people always make the comment that "white cars show the dirt more." Nothing could be further from the truth! My metallic hunter-green Jeep Cherokee always looks dirtier than my white cars ever did. Besides, as a designer, I think that you can appreciate a car's "lines" and good looks better without color to get in the way visually.

My GOSH!! White cars would look cleaner than other colors??? You guys live somewere in the country side and probably in a very sunny area. You do probably never have to leave your car "outdoors". I tell you something, I´m a car mechanic and I owned about 35 cars to date. This VW Rabbit is in excellent shape, I owned it for 5 years now. You won´t find a car more often washed, kleaned and waxed than mine! BUT IT`S WHITE, SO I SELL IT!!! I`M SO SCREWED SPENDING 75 dollars a week to keep it nearly white. You guys don´t probably look very close at your cars, do you? Half an hour after cleaning and waxing, my car is far from white!! It´s already turning grey...traffic dust, the following day the shine is almost really gone.. AND I DO USE HARDWAX OF HIGHEST QUALITY! In Germany they pay less for white used cars than for any other color due to the fact that it hard to sell, because people know it´s always gonna look dirty! I can sell mine to You guys, and if you are so convinced of the superiority of white pay me more than smart people do! Never a white car again! PS! Metallic-silver is my favorite looks nearly always like brand new. So do red ones also.

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Anonymous - USA
I own a dark, hunter green Saturn. I have noticed that policemen tend to pass me by even when I am speeding. Could this possibly be the color of my car? USA

Anonymous - Australia
"Metallic green" is the official colour of my Mazda, which is hardly an adequate description! My baby vacillates between black, dark blue, and green - sometimes taking on tinges of aqua, depending on the light and her mood. Whether she reflects on me or I on her, I'm not sure, but we trundle along in sync and harmony. Our bond seems to scare other cars away - despite being a careless driver, we've never had a crash!

Anonymous - Indonesia lived in Indonesia. I never had any particular preference for car colors, so in the past I had many different colors. I've had white, beige, dark brown, blue, emerald green, dull green, even turquoise. Every member of the family is a good driver, there was only one accident within 10 years and it wasn't our fault. About 2 years ago, I got a very dark green metallic car. Within 8 months the car once fell into a small sewerage, hit a truck, got hit on the back twice, got the stereo stolen, vandalized, had a total engine malfunction on a real heavy rain, and several other minor mishaps. Most of these happened during the night. I sold the car afterwards, and bought exactly the same car but this time it's metallic red. Nothing bad ever happened to the new one. I talked to new owner, but he said it's doing just fine. That's odd.

Anonymous - USA
I recently owned a 1997 Firebird which was White. Within the five years i owned the car, i got rear ended 5 times. I used to get tickets all the time too for speeding even when i was just a few miles over the speed limit. Eventually I bought a new car...A Green metallic Honda Accord. I can speed and Policemen don't pull me over at all. Nobody has hit my car yet...knock on wood.

Consider this:
If your conservative Metallic Green Honda were a Mercedes in a rural town, or a T-bird or Pontiac with a jacked up rear and mag tires, then I bet that green wouldn't make a bit of difference in your expanding ticket collection. It's probably less the color that affected it (true red was often the color of sporty cars because it is a highly saturated color with many associations) and more the style and it's implications--from the point of view of the police person.

The symbolism of green
Green is a symbol of growth and green was the color of the pagan god of fertility. Find out more at Color & Culture Matters


R. Parker
Turquoise is not a color choice you make for your car. It chooses you! I've been selling cars for 10 years. One day a couple years ago, we took in a 92 chrysler lebarron convertable, "aqua pearl coat" was the official name of the color. I took one test drive with a customer in that car, she hated it. I was hooked. I was strangely drawn to purchase this bright turquoise convertable. I named her "blue Mimi", she was the same color as Mimi's eyeshadow (from the Drew Carrey show) We had 2 fabulous years together! I loved to fly down the freeway, with the top down always, my red hair blowing in the wind. It's an ATTITUDE!!!!!

Anonymous - USA
I am different now. I drive a sensible, white, entry-level luxury car. But once, I was wild and owned a turquoise Camaro. I will not comment about the quality of the car, or how it drives in the snow, but I will always remember, little girls dancing in the street as I drove by, and telling me how pretty my aqua-colored car was. They were right! USA


Anonymous - USA
My mother owned a silver-grey car. We noticed a significate number of near collisions on foggy morning and dusky evening hours. The silver seems to blend in with the road. 

Anonymous - USA
I will never again rent a dark gray car. After renting hundreds of cars in various colors around the US, It was discovered that no matter where you are, a dark gray car just can't be seen well under low light level conditions - it blends with the road, and consequently people cut in front of the car as if it wasn't there at all. This happened 5 times in one day! Contrast with the road surface is essential, otherwise you are driving an invisible car. It doesn't matter what model or sized car - just the color. Then I once had a light blue car in a shade that it no longer available (thank heavens). I got rid of because birds kept diving into the car thinking it was water. This would happen even when driving the car.


Anonymous - USA
I had a yellow mazda; Bees were always a problem, I could not enjoy having the windows down due to this. Now I have a blue oldsmobile and Dragonflies think the hood is a pond and try to land on it over and over again. 


Anonymous - Belgium
I owned one time a black firebird and used to park under trees of the park in front of the house. These trees being the home of a lot of pigeons and I had far more pigeon "droppings" on my car than on light colored cars. May be a dark coloured ground is more "inspiring" for the birds ? 

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