Hazardous Journey

Car colour and risk of car crash injury: population based case control study

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7429.1455 (Published 18 December 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:1455

Re: Author's response

I'm hoping this thread isn't too old...
I'd just like to emphasise my feelings about a point you tended to gloss
over in your response to comments on "responsibility for crash".
I strongly believe this factor is overlooked persistently in all the
research I have managed to find. If I'm driving along and don't notice a
dark grey car in my peripheral vision I will continue driving as though
there is no car there. If there is a chance of a collision then the
reaction time wil be greatly reduced. This happens to me often and I
don't see why anyone else would be different.
If this factor is dismissed as being too difficult to quantify then a
study carried out regardless then why bother. If my white car hits a dark
grey car when they have not made a reasonable effort to be conspicuous
then the statistics would be 1 white car and one grey car in an accident;
it should read 1 white car passively involved (no recording of being
involved) and 1 grey car causing accident. if this was applied throughout
you may find that dark and road coloured cars are 3-4 times more prevalent
in the data.
Until this effort is made to interview crash victims and find out the true
cause of the accident ("did not see other car" deflecting blame to the
grey car driver rather than the all too common "inattention" of th
innocent party) we are overlooking a world-wide safety oversight that
doesn't appear to worry anyone..

If road workers were allowed to wear dark grey safety vests because
they thought the colour more macho we'd have a union outcry - drive around
in a dirty grey 2 tonne missile and none minds... why?


Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

21 October 2008
Michael P O'Halloran