How does tread detachment effect speed? 

Kineticorp Forensic Animator, David Pentecost, discusses our latest research “Speed Analysis of a yawing Passenger Vehicles Following a Tire Tread Detachment.” David presented the findings at SAE International‘s 2019 World Congress Event (WCX). A special thanks to Gray Beauchamp for leading the team on this research.  Also, thank you Daniel Koch and Will Bortles for their involvement with the project as well.

Publication Introduction:

This paper presents yaw testing of vehicles with tread removed from tires at various locations. A 2004 Chevrolet Malibu and a 2003 Ford Expedition were included in the test series. The vehicles were accelerated up to speed and a large steering input was made to induce yaw. Speed at the beginning of the tire mark evidence varied between 33 mph and 73 mph. Both vehicles were instrumented to record over the ground speed, steering angle, yaw angle and in some tests, wheel speeds. The tire marks on the roadway were surveyed and photographed.
The Critical Speed Formula has long been used by accident reconstructionists for estimating a vehicle’s speed at the beginning of yaw tire marks. The method has been validated by previous researchers to calculate the speed of a vehicle with four intact tires. This research extends the Critical Speed Formula to include yawing vehicles following a tread detachment event. The Critical Speed Formula was found to produce results of acceptable and known accuracy, provided the appropriate inputs are used for the given situation and several guidelines are observed. The inputs and guidelines for the use of the Critical Speed Formula for these tread detachment scenarios are discussed.
For all tests analyzed, the tire mark evidence was documented with survey equipment, photographs and drone footage. In the past, it may have been necessary to take tire mark radius measurements in the field for use in the Critical Speed Formula. However, with the advent of modern documentation techniques, radius measurements can be taken from a scaled scene diagram and acceptable accuracy in the speed calculations can be achieved…Purchase Full Publication

Full Publication:

SAE 2019-01-0418 – Speed Analysis of Yawing Passenger Vehicles Following a Tire Tread Detachment


Gray Beauchamp, David Pentecost, Daniel Koch, William Bortles

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SAE 2019-01-0430 – Low Speed Override of Passenger Vehicles with Heavy Trucks

SAE 2019-01-0418 – Speed Analysis of Yawing Passenger Vehicles Following a Tire Tread Detachment

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SAE 2017-01-1427 – Deceleration Rates of Vehicles with Disabled Tires

SAE 2016-01-1470 – Post-Impact Dynamics for Vehicles with a High Yaw Velocity

SAE 2016-01-1468 – Tire Mark Striations: Sensitivity and Uncertainty Analysis

SAE 2016-01-1479 – The Relationship Between Tire Mark Striations and Tire Forces

SAE 2013-01-0776 – A Comparison of 25 High Speed Tire Disablements Involving Full and Partial Tread Separations

SAE 2012-01-0620 – Comparison of Calculated Speeds for a Yawing and Braking Vehicle to Full-Scale Vehicle Tests

SAE 2010-01-1891 – Full-Scale Testing and Analysis of Tractor-Trailer Braking Performance with and without Trailer Anti-Lock Brakes

SAE 2009-01-0092 – Determining Vehicle Steering and Braking from Yaw Mark Striations


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