One of the most vital yet overlooked car safety features is the turn signal. In fact, operating a vehicle at night without properly working signals is a violation that can result in a traffic stop. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, even the color of the signal cover can make a significant difference in being involved in a rear-end collision accident.

According to a 2008 NHTSA study, vehicles with red signal covers, as opposed to amber signal covers, are 22% more likely to be struck from the rear by a trailing driver. Many people would not think that the color of the lens cap would have any impact, but the numbers suggest otherwise.

The NHTSA did a followup analysis on the matter in 2009 to help eliminate any inherent biases that may have affected the first study. This time, researchers compared only crash data in vehicles with rear blinkers that had switched color (from red to amber or vice-versa) in a mid-cycle manufacturing change. In this case, a change to amber resulted in a 5.3% reduction in rear-end collisions.

The reasons for installing red signal covers is almost always based on expense at the time of assembly. Manufacturers are typically focused on more modern conveniences such as electronic equipment or other safety features, but the color of turn signal caps gets left behind because car buyers are looking for other amenities.

When consumers are evaluating options on a potential vehicle purchase, they rarely consider the color of the turn signals. Nevertheless, car shoppers should not overlook turn signal caps when evaluating the safety features of their next vehicle. This amenity could ultimately lead to a rear-end collision. If you’ve been hurt in such an accident, consider reaching out to a personal injury lawyer. An attorney could investigate every potential cause of an accident.