Forensic Science, Tires and Ways to Stay Safe on the Road

Every fan of CSI knows that when it comes to examining crime scene  evidence, tire tracks are important. It seems that you can always count on the bad guy in the movies, or on TV, to leave some tracks behind.

What every fan of CSI knows...

The real authorities also give careful consideration to this type of forensic science. Tires leave tracks, it's a fact of life. And, whether they be automobile tires, bicycle tires, motorcycle tires, truck tires or any other tire, they can act as the catalyst for a criminal conviction in a court of law.

Forensic science can play a major role in establishing the identity of an automobile or other vehicle and authorities have banks of information, as well as tread samples, on everything from car tires to shoes.

At one time it was possible to see a collection of tire tread patterns to  get a good look at Cooper Tires, Pirelli Tires, Dunlop Tires, Continental Tires, Goodyear Tires, Hankook Tires and appreciate the wide variety between different tires.  Now, it seems that you must subsctibe to a service, or purchase collections of samples to examine these.  One source is  Foster & Freeman which has over 8500 different tread samples.

As you'll see, there's a significant difference between basic run-of-the-mill tires and mud tires or off road tires and the same applies to atv tires, truck tires, bicycle tires and so on.

Rex Grogan- Tire Guru and Expert Witness

One person who commonly gave evidence on tires was Rex Grogan. For many years, Rex held prominent positions in Dunlop, including management of their Tire Examination Laboratory. One of his functions was to examine problems with returned tires and this experience eventually seen him called many times as an expert witness.

Rex has written numerous books, articles, papers and lectures on tire-related forensic science, tire examination methods, general motoring safety, reasons for tire failure and other topics relating to rims, tires, wheels, etc. All of his work had been detailed on his website called, but this seems to have disappeared (as of 2016).

  • An Investigator's Guide to Tire Failures
  • Tire Examination Methods for Police Accident Investigators
  • Tire Marks as Evidence
  • The Role of Tires in Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • At the Scene of the Crime

If you still can't get enough of forensic science. Tires are a well covered subject on the Google book search "Science of Tires" at Amazon book search

The Science of Black Round Things

tire tread imageTire companies spend millions on development and technology. Creating the right tire for different conditions isn't as simple as mmelting some rubber into a round shape and cutting some tread into it. 

Today's tires are the result of the implementation of operational, business and strategic plans, consultation of various information systems, continuous improvement strategies, the constant development of teams and individuals, safe workplace policies and risk management.

Somewhere a tire then rolls off the production line.

This development correlates with development of many new cars, designed to drive on specific types of tires. It's a science that gives maximum efficiency and can make the difference between a car getting a good or bad review in motor journals.


Other useful links

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