Should black cars be banned from the road?
A DEBATE is raging online over whether the colour of a car can be deemed a safety hazard.
APN reporter Kathy Sundstrom sparked the conversation last week when she wrote an opinion piece suggesting black cars should be banned from the road.
To back up her argument, she cited a study by Monash University in 2013 which found black cars were 47% more likely to be involved in crashes.
"I know you might think black's cool. In that case, wear black clothes when you drive," she said.
"But you shouldn't be putting the rest of us at risk because of your choice to drive a dark-coloured car."
In lieu of banning certain colours, she said those driving a black or grey car should have to drive with lights on during the day.
This is something Grafton woman Gemma Radin can agree with. The mother-of-three has owned a Black Mitsubishi Triton for two years, and always drives with her lights on to make herself more visible to other road users.
"It's something I've always noticed in other cars," she said.
"I realise the colour of my car is close to the colour of the road. You've got to do everything you can to keep everyone else on the road safe, and yourself and your family."
Grafton Motor Group general manager Rob Connell, who has been in the car sales business for 30 years, said the perceived safety of a particular car colour wasn't an issue for most potential buyers.
In most cases, it comes down to aesthetics.
"Older people are the ones that mention it the most; they've been brought up in years when cars weren't that safe and people didn't like dark cars, but with daytime running lights the argument is a bit moot these days," he said.
"A very small percentage would be concerned.
"In the age group we typically sell to, 35-45, colour is a big thing. They'll buy the colour of a car over safety features, but most new cars around the country are at least five stars now. People buy cars with their sight more than their minds."
Mr Connell said with that in mind, black cars only made up about 1% of their private sales.
The colour black has been well and truly superseded by charcoal greys and dark bronze colours, he said.
"Black had its run. We sell a lot of graphite grey cars now; I own one myself and I've never thought about it.
"Daytime running lights negate the lost in the scenery, lost in the road surface problem. Which cars are more prone to accidents comes down to the driver."