Silver cars are safest

Silver cars are less likely to be involved in a crash resulting in serious injury than cars of other colours, finds a study in this week’s Christmas issue of the BMJ.

Researchers in New Zealand examined the effect of car colour on the risk of a serious injury in over 1,000 drivers who took part in the Auckland car crash injury study between 1998 and 1999.

Factors that could affect the results, such as age and sex of driver, seat belt use, vehicle age, and road conditions, were taken into account.

They found a significant reduction (about 50%) in the risk of serious injury in silver cars compared with white cars.

There was a significantly increased risk of a serious injury in brown vehicles and the risks for black and green cars were also raised. The risk of a serious injury in yellow, grey, red, and blue cars was not significantly different from that in white cars.

Some limitations mean that the extent to which these results are applicable to other settings is open to question, say the authors. However, increasing the proportion of silver cars could be an effective strategy to reduce the burden of injury from car crashes.

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