Many factors can influence your car accident risk. Some fall within your control. For example, avoiding dangerous driving behaviors like speeding and distracted driving helps reduce your odds of causing a crash. Other factors, such as the behavior of other drivers, fall outside your control.
An element that may fall within your control is the color of your vehicle. Research has shown that certain car colors can produce a statistically significant increase in your traffic accident risk.
If you need help after a car accident in Austin, TX, contact the FVF Law personal injury attorneys today at (512) 982-9328. We have over 100 years of combined experience to put behind your case, and we offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your options.
FVF Law was founded in 2014 to educate and represent accident victims in Austin, Texas. Our attorneys have successfully resolved over 1,100 personal injury cases, recovering millions of dollars in compensation for injured clients.
The Austin car accident lawyers at FVF Law can help you by providing the following:
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Traffic accidents in Austin killed 116 people in 2022. Over 9,000 people suffered injuries ranging from scrapes and bruises to permanent paralysis and brain damage.
No studies have definitively identified how many of these injuries and deaths resulted from the color of the accident victim’s car. But you can estimate the number of crashes where car color might have played a role.
Car color may affect crash risk under two circumstances. First, drivers may have a harder time spotting dark-colored cars in darkness. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, over 30% of fatal crashes in 2022 occurred at night on unlit streets. Roughly 9% of injury crashes happened under the same conditions. At least some of these drivers were in dark cars, so they might have been less visible than a light car.
Second, drivers can become temporarily blinded by glare. Light colors, like white and silver, can reflect enough light to produce a blinding glare. In 2022, over 39% of fatal crashes and over 67% of injury crashes happened during daylight. Again, you can assume that some of these crashes involved bright cars that may have produced glare.
The relative crash risks produced by different car colors have been studied by two sets of researchers:
A study at the University of Auckland in New Zealand looked at roughly 1,150 crash records to determine whether color was a statistically significant factor in any of the accidents. In their data collection, researchers used white as the control color and adjusted the data to account for factors such as age and drug or alcohol use.
According to their research, three colors significantly increased crash risk, and two colors significantly reduced it. Black, brown, and green cars were almost twice as likely to get into a car accident as white cars. Conversely, gray and silver cars were about half as likely to have an accident as white cars.
These results support the hypothesis that dark colors increase crash risk because drivers have difficulty seeing them at night. But you would expect gray and silver to produce significantly more glare in the daytime. The researchers did not theorize why these colors affected crash risk.
Monash University in Australia conducted a follow-up study roughly four years after the University of Auckland analysis. Researchers looked at crash records for over 850,000 traffic accidents spanning 17 years.
This study produced very different results from the University of Auckland study. The Monash University researchers agreed that green increased crash risk. But the study had contradictory results for other colors. Instead of finding that gray and silver reduce crash risk, the Monash University study found an increase in crash risk for these colors.
It also found that two other colors, blue and red, increased crash risk compared to white. The University of Auckland study found that these colors had no effect on crash risk.
Car color will likely not enter into your personal injury claim. To win an injury claim, you must show that the other driver failed to exercise reasonable care. If another driver hits you, they can try to blame the color of your car for the crash. But this blame-shifting is unlikely to succeed.
Regardless of the color of your car, the other driver has a duty to look carefully for other vehicles on the road. In other words, they have a legal duty to look for you even if you are driving a black car at night.
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Car accidents can happen regardless of the color of your car. Contact FVF Law for a free consultation to discuss your car crash and your right to financial compensation for the injuries you suffered.
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