As a road runner I know just how vital visibility is. Safety should remain paramount above fashion. Thankfully running apparel and fashion trends appear to have turned safety conscious. The rather gordy, luminous and highly visible neon colours are currently very trendy. It hasn’t always been the case.
Similarly, cars sell on fashion and marketing. Ford found this out the hard way in the 1950’s. They introduced an optional safety feature package, which included seat belts. Chevrolet on the other hand, continued to market their cars using appealing women to advertise power under the bonnet.
Ford’s sales began to plummet while Chevrolet’s numbers were growing significantly. Safety simply does not sell.
The dramatic increase in safety features in cars has largely been due to government regulations and intervention.
Statistics show that certain car colours are more likely to be involved in day time accidents. These include black, grey, silver, red and green. Accidents involving white cars was a significant 10% lower. Optometrists noted the optimum colour for maximum visibility is lime yellow.
Toyota has now developed a paint that contains tiny highly reflective titanium oxide particles. This paint is actually designed to save energy. As this can be added to a variety of colours to improve or enhance visibility, Toyota can offer a wider range of colours including their ‘Thermo-Tech Lime Green’.
Not only will this save lives through reducing accidents associated with poor visibility, but Toyota also shows how this paint saves energy by reflecting heat. It does not contain any carbon black which most paints contain. It is this carbon black that is responsible for absorbing heat. A Japanese study determined that if every car in the country had reflective paint, it would reduce carbon emissions by 210,000 tons per year.
The question is whether Toyota will get it right to set a new fashion that will attract more motorists into buying the bright thing?