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RESEARCH BY the National University of Singapore (NUS) appears to show that there is a direct relationship between the colour of a taxi and how often it is involved in road traffic collisions.

Analysis of three years of vehicle, driver and accident data of Singapore’s yellow and blue cab fleets showed that yellow taxis had fewer accidents than those painted blue.

It is thought that the high visibility of the yellow cabs make them easier to be seen by other road users and thus result in fewer accidents.

NUS deputy president, professor Ho Teck Hua, 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. The findings of this study suggest that colour visibility should play a major role in determining the colours used for public transport vehicles.

“A commercial decision to change all taxis to yellow could save lives and potentially reduce economic losses by millions of dollars.

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

Professor Ho led the research, in collaboration with associate professor Ching Juin Kuan from the NUS Business School and assistant professor Xia Xiaoyu from the Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School.

The team analysed data from Singapore’s largest taxi company, with a combined fleet of 16,000 vehicles, and concluded that yellow cabs had 6:1 fewer accidents per 1,000 vehicles per month than blue taxis.

Translating the research into risk for cab passengers, the figures showed that taxi customers had a nine per cent lesser chance of being involved in an accident in a yellow cab.

Professor Ho also concluded that the Singapore taxi company could achieve annual savings of S$2million in reduced repairs and vehicle downtime if it switched all its vehicles to yellow.

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PHC Magazine

PHC Magazine