A study conducted in 2003 in Cambridge, UK, threw up a disturbing statistic which may not be significant because of the rather small sample size but which stands out against the other statistics.
More than twice as many cats involved in a road traffic accident wore a reflective collar compared to non-road traffic accident cats. The authors of the research could not determine why this may have occurred because of the small sample size.
What comes to my mind is the possibility that some car drivers deliberately fail to avoid a domestic cat crossing the road. Obviously, a cat wearing a reflective collar at night or in the early hours of the morning will be far more visible and therefore if a driver is predisposed to hurting cats because he dislikes them intensely then this would be an opportunity to carry out his desires.
It would also be completely safe in terms of the potential for criminal prosecution. It would be impossible to prove that a person deliberately ran over a cat. I can remember, many years ago, reading the words of a cat hating car driver who said that he enjoyed driving over cats whenever the opportunity arose. Obviously the opportunity arose very rarely but nonetheless his malicious nature stood out and made an impact upon me.
You will see from the chart that the chances of a cat being hit by a car is unaffected by the time of year, the coat colour of the cat, the hours spent outside, the time lived at a certain address and whether the cat is allowed out at night or not. There is a small difference between night and daytime accidents but it is small.
P.S. Only 25% of cats hit by a car are killed. And male, random bred cats under 2-years-of-age are the most likely to be hit by a car. If your cat falls into this category and is lost check the side of the road near your home as he may have been hit by a car and gone into hiding under a bush.
The study: Rochlitz (2003).