With gas prices nearing $4 per gallon, are there any cheerful drivers left on the road?

Well, if there are, chances are they're driving a green car.

People who own emerald green automobiles, it turns out, have the most positive attitude about the course of their own lives. Dark blue and silver are other colors chosen by upbeat people.

Red supposedly connotes an aggressive, high-speed personality, while yellow, theoretically, is for folks with sunny dispositions. But survey data show that people who drive red or yellow cars have below-average confidence. And black cars, supposedly a sign of power and elegance, are driven by the most downbeat drivers of all.

The automotive color-coding comes from CNW Marketing Research in Bandon, Ore., which asked nearly 1,900 Americans about their attitudes toward their own lives at several points over the course of a year. CNW also asked each respondent the color of the car they drive most often, which allowed the researchers to develop a kind of color-confidence index. According to CNW, here's what the color of a car says about the person who bought it:

Since the folks at CNW got a range of answers for each respondent over time, they were also able to calculate the "moodiness" of drivers -- how widely their confidence varied from one extreme to the other, in the course of a year. Sedate colors, not surprisingly, correlate with consistent moods. But if a primary color suddenly fills your rear-view mirror -- well, it's probably best to get out of the way:

There are better clinical indicators of mental health, needless to say, but Art Spinella of CNW says car color can be a useful "people-matching" tool. "Your accountant should drive something silver," he advises. And odds are pretty good that he does: Silver, white, and black -- more stable hues -- are the most common car colors, according to DuPont, which publishes an annual color popularity report. More moody colors account for about 17 percent of cars. If only they had their own roads.

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