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Tire Tracks

Tire tracks have the potential to provide solid forensic associations to a vehicle, however, this type of evidence is often underutilized.  Part of the tire manufacturing process involves the making of a tread design.  The tread design encircles the entire circumference of the tire and is the part of the tire that contacts the surface on which the vehicle is traveling.  Tires that share the same tread design are referred to as having the same class characteristics.

When vehicle tires are driven on, they can accumulate material such as glass and/or small stones randomly embedded in the tread design.  A tire may also acquire random damage such as cuts and nicks in specific elements of the tread design.  These random occurrences in the tread design are referred to as individual characteristics and are unique to each tire.  As a tire travels across a surface, it is possible that a tire track can be left in that area.  At a crime scene, a questioned tire track can be documented, collected and subsequently compared to known tires.  A conclusion of the resulting comparison can be rendered that associates a questioned tire track as having been made by a particular known tire.  Questioned tire tracks may also provide additional information such as what direction the vehicle was moving and how many vehicles may have been in that area.

FoCoSS Forensics has court-qualified tire track examiners who can conduct independent tire track examinations or conduct re-examinations of prior comparisons for accurate findings.   FoCoSS Forensics can also evaluate the crime scene processing techniques used for developing, documenting and preserving questioned tire tracks.