Why are School Buses Yellow in Color?

Stand-Out Performance

The answer is simple – yellow stands out in a sea of colors. As we all know, out of all the primary colors, Red is considered the most attention-grabbing hue.

However, when the color selection for school buses was going on, Red was already the go-to color that signified danger as it shone brightly at every traffic signal worldwide.

It would not be wise to choose the same color for school buses and denote them as dangerous automobiles.

Moreover, scientists have unanimously concluded that yellow tends to stand out the most in any situation. This fact is especially important when we consider the standard timings when school buses pick up or drop kids.

It is either early morning and late afternoon or early evening, respectively. It is quite common to encounter thick fog or other environmental elements during these timings, and yellow is visible even in the midst of the thick fog, smoke, rain, dust, or dirt clouds.

Most importantly, the lettering of the school name in black color shines brightest on the glossy yellow hue. This stand-out ability has made yellow the color of choice for the school transportation system.

The scientific reason behind this is the ability of ‘school bus glossy yellow’ hue to work on Red as well as Green cones of our eyes at the same time.

No matter how congested the traffic situation, our brain instinctively places a yellow-colored automobile apart from the others and gives a signal to speeding drivers to slow down, making yellow the safest choice for school buses.

The highest peripheral vision quality:

A scientific study has proven that yellow has the highest peripheral vision quality, surpassing even the red color that is officially considered the biggest attention-hoarder. It is 1.24 times easier and faster for us to discern a yellow-colored object in our peripheral vision than any other color.


Anybody can spot a yellow school bus from afar even when it is not directly in our sight line. This factor, combined with the connotation of yellow used for school kids, has made the school bus glossy yellow color a beacon of safety.


 Loved By Children

While this factor did not have any say in choosing the yellow color for all school buses, it is also common knowledge that yellow is a bright and optimistic color. It denotes cheerfulness, sunshine, smiles, and kids love these attributes in their surroundings.


There is a reason we love decorating our kids’ rooms with bright yellow wallpapers or sunflowers. The natural happiness denoted by yellow gels well with the cheery disposition of kids in general.