Bad news for black cabs

New research suggests that swapping the sombre hue of London’s iconic cabs may improve safety

07 Mar 2017 by Selina Powell

The platitude adorns coasters, bumper stickers and sandwich boards. But in dark news for London’s iconic mode of transportation, ‘Looking on the sunny side’ may also stand commuters in good stead at the taxi rank.

A three-year analysis of taxi data in Singapore found that yellow taxis were involved in 6.1 fewer accidents per 1000 taxis per month when compared with blue taxis.

Professor Teck Hua, of the National University of Singapore, told OT said that changing the colour of vehicles to yellow could enhance the safety of passengers and drivers.

“By making public transport vehicles more visible and ensuring that lighting conditions are good on all roadways, we can not only avoid accidents, but we can save lives and money,” Professor Hua emphasised.

“Changing colours would be especially critical in cities that use dark coloured taxis,” he added.

Professor Hua highlighted that optometrists should keep in mind the findings of the study.

“Lenses that allow wearers to see colours clearly are paramount now that we know that colour visibility plays a critical role in reducing the accident rate,” he explained.

Professor Hua said the optical sector could also focus research on finding corrective means to alleviate or improve the perception of darker colours. 

Future research would investigate the impact of other colours on accident rate, including those used in private vehicles for public transport by companies such as Uber.

Image credit: ChevronZ 

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