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|Tire & Wheel Accident
The photograph on the left depicts an undamaged and properly inflated tire, while the wheel on the right illustrates an
unseated tire. Accident reconstructionists refer to an unseeded tire as one that has broken the seal between the
wheel rim and rubber tire (bead).
After impact, an unseeded tire will often gouge and scrape the underlying roadway surface on its way to final rest.
Undamaged tires, on the other hand, can leave skid, scuff, or even acceleration marks on the roadway after impact.
Identifying which roadway mark came from what tire is an intricate part in understanding post-impact dynamics.
The condition of a wheel will also affect its coefficient of friction. By definition, a coefficient of friction is the ratio of the
tangential (parallel) force applied to an object sliding across a surface to the normal (perpendicular) force. Put
plainly, when any tire is slid across a surface, there is friction. In its simplest sense, friction is a resistance to motion.
Tire contact with some surfaces produces relatively high levels of resistance to motion, as is the case when a
properly inflated tire slides across a newly paved concrete roadway. Other circumstances produce relatively low
levels of friction, as is the case when the rim of an unseated tire slides across a patch of icy asphalt.
|Accident reconstruction equations often rely upon the number of tires that were locked or free rolling from impact to
final rest. Careful examination of tires also helps accident reconstruction experts in explaining what actions a vehicle
In 2009, the National Highway Transportation
Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a study
on tire safety.
To read NHTSA's publication on proper tire
inflation, click here.
Disclaimer: Crash Data Services, LLC and crashdataservices.net provide the information in this web site for informational purposes only. The information is not intended to be legal advice or an expert
opinion and should not be construed as such. The use of this site does not create a contractor/client relationship with any employee of Crash Data Services, LLC. Each investigation is different. Case
results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case. The results of any investigation/reconstruction do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case undertaken by Crash Data Services,
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