Investigation of the relationship between vehicle color and safety

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Civil Engineering


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Mechanics


Advisor: Deogratias Eustace


Over the years, the concern of many, consumers and insurance companies alike, has been geared towards the contribution of vehicle color to the risk of crash. Consequently, there is a need to provide sufficient scientific evidence to back consumers in selecting the appropriate vehicle color that enhances their safety on the road. The present study utilized the induced exposure study design where data was stratified into two groups: color-prone crash group and induced exposure crash group. The color prone crash group includes the types of crashes where vehicle color visibility may play a part in crash occurring such as two or more vehicles in transport crashing, or where pedestrians or motor cyclists are struck. The induced exposure crash group generally includes crashes where vehicle visibility is not likely to be a factor in the crash occurring, such as single vehicle crashes and a vehicle crashing into a parked vehicle or other fixed/stationery objects such as trees, utility poles, etc. The negative binomial (NB) and Poisson distributions were utilized in fitting a generalized linear model to the data. As opposed to previous studies, this study first desired the appropriate model between the mostly used Poisson and the NB models for crash data modeling. Model goodness-of-fit tests performed indicate that the negative binomial model reflected a better fit to the data. Based on the NB model, no single vehicle color was found to be significantly safer or riskier than white, the baseline color. All the differences noted were not supported by a sound statistical analysis performed.


Automobiles Painting, Traffic safety, Traffic accidents Research

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2010, author