Yellow taxis less prone to accidents than blue taxis: NUS study

ComfortDelgro’s Comfort Taxi and CityCab taxis (Yahoo file photo)

Yellow taxis have fewer accidents than blue taxis due to their higher visibility, according to a new study by the National University of Singapore (NUS).

An NUS team found that yellow taxis are nine per cent less likely to have an accident because they are more noticeable than blue taxis, making it easier to avoid a collision.

The team analysed three years of taxi, driver and accident data from a company’s fleet of about 4,175 yellow taxis and 12,525 blue taxis in Singapore. While the study didn’t specify the company’s name, ComfortDelGro operates CityCab’s yellow taxis and Comfort’s blue taxis.

The study, which was published in a journal this month, concluded that switching the colour of all taxis in the fleet to yellow could result in 917 fewer accidents and savings of $2 million per year.

By observing that the drivers in both yellow and blue taxis had identical driving patterns, all taxis were of the same model and underwent the same maintenance schedules, the NUS team was able to conclude that the difference in safety was due to their respective colours.

Professor Ho Teck Hua, who led the study, said, “A commercial decision to change all taxis to yellow may save lives and potentially reduce economic losses by millions of dollars. 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.”