Tire Marks & Their Role in Accident-Reconstruction Investigations

By Michael Miranda

Furrow Tire Marks

Tire marks are probably the most often confused and misinterpreted of all roadway evidence. A tire mark is the general class of marks left by a tire, whether rolling or locked. A tire skid mark is left by a locked, sliding tire.

There are different types of tire marks associated with a traffic accident investigation. Here, we describe tire marks, how to identify them, and their implications for an investigation.

Types of Tire Marks


Made by a rotating or yawing vehicle, a vehicle acceleration, or a flat tire.

Yaw mark

Made by a tire that is rotating and sliding sideways parallel to that wheel’s axle; also referred to as sideslip or critical-speed scuff marks.


Made by a locked wheel caused by the application of the brake.


Made by a rolling tire.

Scrub mark

Left by a wheel locked due to damage.

How to identify tire skid marks:

Pavement grinding

Caused by material embedded in the tire grinding along the surface of the roadway (can be hard to see).

Tire grinding

Caused by the tire itself being ground by the abnormalities of the road surface (can also be hard to see).


Caused by a sliding …read more

Source:: Private Invest