Simple – Federal law in the United States requires that, in addition to flashing lights and safety devices, school buses must be painted “school bus yellow”. But, how did this color come about?
Before the standard school bus yellow was developed, school buses where a pure yellow, closer to the color of a lemon. In 1939, Dr. Frank W. Cyr organized a conference to establish standards for U.S. school buses. This introduced a standard yellow color for all school buses in the United States. Originally the color was known as “National School Bus Chrome”.
Scientists have found that people are able to see yellow objects in their peripheral field of vision 1.24 times better than red. Yellow also is more easily noticed in a dark environment.
School bus yellow is neither pure yellow nor pure orange. It is a mix of the two, similar to the color of the flesh of a mango. You might not find it in a box of crayons, but school bus yellow is a real color.