Lime-yellow color as related to reduction of serious fire apparatus accidents--the case for visibility in emergency vehicle accident avoidance

J Am Optom Assoc. 1990 Nov;61(11):827-31.


Fire departments have long used red as the traditional color for fire apparatus and have been reluctant to change. Optometric research and literature offers ample proof that red is a poorly detected color. This paper views the shortcomings of red. Simultaneously, it reports that the ancillary equipment and markings used to make fire vehicles detectable are not as effective as previously thought. These safety measures include flashing lights, strobe lights, retroreflective material, and audible alarms. Lime-yellow has been found to be a distinctive, highly visible safety color. Research reveals it can reduce or prevent serious fire apparatus accidents through early detection.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control*
  • Color Perception / physiology*
  • Color*
  • Fire Extinguishing Systems
  • Humans
  • New York
  • Safety
  • Transportation*
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology