Free Press Journal

Yellow taxis may be less prone to accidents: study


Singapore: Yellow taxis are significantly less accident prone than their blue counterparts, according to a new study which suggests that the right choice of colour for public transport vehicles could save many lives.

Researchers from National University of Singapore(NUS) analysed data from the largest taxi company in Singapore, which involved millions of observations on the company’s drivers and taxis, and accidents involving these taxis.

Upon reviewing the data from about 4,175 yellow taxis and 12,525 blue taxis, the researchers found that yellow taxis have about 6.1 fewer accidents per 1,000 taxis per month.

Over the course of 40 years, a passenger will experience 1.1 accidents in a blue taxi, compared to one accident in a yellow taxi, which is a nine per cent reduction in accident rate, researchers said.

“Although there is anecdotal evidence on higher accident rates for dark coloured vehicles, few studies have empirically established a strong causal link between colour and accident risk,” said Professor Ho Teck Hua of NUS.

“The findings of our study suggest that colour visibility should play a major role in determining the colours used for public transport vehicles,” he added

Researchers also found that if a commercial decision is made to switch from blue to yellow taxis, 76.6 fewer accidents would occur per month or 917 fewer accidents per year.

“Our results are also noteworthy to smaller taxi companies and to drivers who use their private vehicles as taxis to work for private-hire car services,” Hua said.

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.