Black is the colour of risk on roads

PEOPLE driving black cars are nearly 20 per cent more likely to be injured or killed in accidents than average, according to statistics collected by the Department of Transport.

Out of every 10,000 black cars, 179 were involved in accidents in 1990, with white being the next most dangerous on 160, followed by red. The average was 150 and the safest were brown and yellow, both with 133, followed by green.

The DoT's statisticians offer only tentative explanations for these figures, suggesting that 'some colours may tend to be associated with particular makes and models of cars'. The popularity of white for high performance cars may indeed explain why newer white cars - those registered after 1985 - have an accident rate of 170 compared with older ones which only had 145 accidents involving injury. The statisticians recognise that visibility is also bound to be a factor.

The study's main figures were first published in July this year, showing that road deaths in 1991 totalled 4,568 - 12 per cent fewer than the 5,217 figure for 1990.

Using figures for drivers over 40, it finds that 72 out of 1,000 male drivers have an accident every year compared with 59 out of 1,000 women drivers. However, women tend to average only 4,300 miles per year compared with 9,100 for men, which gives women an accident rate of 13.7 accidents per million miles compared with men's score of 7.9.

Women can counter that a doubling of mileage only leads to a 30 per cent increase in accidents which, according to the report, 'suggests that the difference in accident rate between men and women is largely due to their differing mileages'.

For younger drivers the results are unequivocal. The authors of the report say, 'young men (have) more accidents than young women'.

Looking at changes over the past 40 years, the proportion of people in accidents who are killed or seriously injured has decreased for all road users. For example, only 14 per cent of vehicle occupants involved in accidents were killed in 1991, compared with 21 per cent in 1951.

Bicycle casualties fell 70 per cent, reflecting a drop in usage, while pedestrian deaths fell by 38 per cent.

And in 1951, 64 pedestrians were killed after being knocked down by cyclists while in 1991 there was just one such fatality.

Road Accidents Great Britain 1991, HMSO, pounds 10.95.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Ashdown Group: Accountant - London - £48,000 - 12 month FTC

£40000 - £48000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: International Acc...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power