Some cars have red turn signal lamps, while others have an amber hue. Big deal, right? The National Highway Traffic Safety Association thinks it is, after finding that amber lights are 5.3% more effective at preventing crashes than the red blinkers. NHTSA came to that conclusion after comparing crash data of vehicles that switched from one color to another. Europe already mandates the amber turn signal, and NHTSA says that data from other agencies supports their findings. As it is, American cars sold in Europe already receive legal turn signal units – even if they aren't sold that way in America (see Chevrolet's C6 Corvette as an example).

NHTSA is now asking the public whether it should mandate amber turn signals for all vehicles sold in the States. Unfortunately for automakers, amber turn signals aren't exactly high fashion here in the U.S., as the vast majority of the signals are of the red blinking variety, likely because of cost considerations. While it's true that the auto industry is probably suffering from a case of far too many regulations, anything that can improve safety by up to 5.3% without costing an arm and a leg is probably worth considering. If NHTSA gives automakers a reasonable amount of time to implement the changes, automakers may be able to fit the change into the next design cycle.

[Source: Kicking Tires]