Cooley On Cars
Why your turn signal color mattersThey have to be red. Or do they?
[MUSIC] Hey folks, Cooley here with another one of your questions about high tech cars and modern driving. This one comes in from VJM who wants to know about the color of rear end of cars. He says, I'm curious, is there any oversight as to the color of blinkers on cars. I've seen both orange And red. I've always thought American cars had red and the rest of the world used orange. But recently, that has not been the case. Is there any reason why red is so often used instead of orange? Well, Vijay, it's an interesting story and I had a question like this from a handful of other people. So let's get to it. First of all, right off the bat, red is absolutely the most common color you're gonna see out there. It's almost universal on US cars, especially if they're a little bit older, that's all you saw for the longest time. But guess what? Amber works better, there was a federal study done in 2009 rather recently and they found that amber turn signals are more effective that letting someone behind you know. You've got your turn signal on. Which is kind of the point of a turn signal. So why wasn't it made the law? It just isn't in the US. We've a lot of wonky lighting laws. So both colors are legal, not one or the other being required. That's why you see a lot of red is because car makers take a look at this and say, well, red's not illegal. It's not proven to be ineffective. And it's cheaper to have a lens that is more of one color than to have multiple colors or multiple parts to get the orange and the red next to each other. There's also an issue of don't rock the boat. Let's face it, car makers on many things like to trod the same path. So they all kind of hide together under one umbrella of liability insulation. You be the one car maker to go off and do something weird and someone gets killed, some attorney's gonna come after you and say, why did you do that? Everyone else does something else and they seem to be just fine. You made a change and you got my client killed. So this is kind of the formula of why cars are mostly red, should be amber, and both are allowed. Keep those emails coming, I'm here to answer questions about high tech cars and modern driving. It's email@example.com.