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Course: Forensic Science
Lesson Title:
Forensic Tire Evidence



Standard & Assessment Anchor

  • S11.A.1.1.5
  • S11.A.2.1.3
  • S11.A.2.1.5
  • S11.A.2.2.1
  • S11.A.2.2.2
  • R11.A.1.3.1
  • R11.B.3.3.3
  • 3.1.10.B6

Objective/ Essential Question

  • Students will be able to explain what impression evidence is and why it is important.
  • Students will be able to explain what are tire impression and skid marks.
  • Students will be able to describe the type of information that can be gathered from a tire.
  • Students will be able to explain how crime scene analysts collect tire evidence.
  • Students will be able to explain how tire evidence is analyzed at the crime lab.

Forensic Tire Evidence


    1. View the PowerPoint Lesson on Forensic Tire Evidence.

    2. Print the notes on Forensic Tire Evidence.

    3. Complete the quiz on today's reading.

    4. If you have any questions or problems, please contact Mrs. Intelicato for help.
Key Terms:
  • Impression Evidence
  • Skid Mark
  • Sidewall
  • 2-D Impression
  • 3-D Impression
  • Cast
Materials Needed:
  • notebook
  • pen or pencil

read this

Read This: Introduction

If you were sitting in a classroom right now, it would look something like this. You might be arranged boy-girl or in alphabetical order. This arrangement is a example of a pattern. The pattern can vary among classrooms. The word pattern can mean a regular or repeated form, order, or arrangement.

So what does this have to do with forensic science. Look over the following questions and then highlight to see the answers.

Here are some questions to think about.

Q: What objects in nature have patterns that can be used to identify the object.

A: animal skins, shells, flowers, sedimentary rocks, and bird color patterns.

Q: What manufactured items have patterns?

A: wrapping paper, paper towels, floor tiles, and sheets.

Most of these patterns are distinctive, but not unique. The markings on animals are an exception. They can be used to distinguish one individual from another.

Investigators look for marks left by objects, such as tires, that have distinctive patterns. Two people who have the same tires buy identical pairs of tires.

Here are some questions to think about.

Q: When the tires are new, could you tell which set left the tire print?

A: No, because the tires have identical patterns.

Q: After the tires are worn from driving, could you tell which set left the tire print?

A: Yes, because the rubber has been worn down more in some places than in others, which will produce a distinctive pattern. The tires will also have cuts and scratches on them.

In this lesson, you will learn about tire prints and their importance in a crime scene investigation. You will also this specific piece of evidence is collected and analyzed.


Read the following PowerPoint Lesson on Forensic Tire Evidence.

(Click Your Mouse Within Presentation To Move To Next Slide)


Print This:

Here are the notes from today's lesson. Please print this out if needed.

Click HERElink [ This is a .pdf file, which opens with Adobe Reader. ] for the PDF Version of Forensic Tire Evidence.

Now take the Quiz below!

The quiz will test your knowledge on Forensic Tire Evidence. Please make sure you review the lesson before attempting the quiz. You will have two attempts on this quiz. Make sure you double check your answers before submitting.

Copyright  2011 Mrs. Lancenese & Mrs. Intelicato



View the video called "Tire Tracks Trap Killer". While you are watching the video, play close attention so you can readily answer the questions below.

When you are ready to begin, click the play button on your screen. It is
a large file, so it may take a few minutes to load. Please be patient!

Question 1

Marks: 4
An impression can act as a . A CSI pours into the impression. The that forms when the liquid sets can be compared to the
that made the impression.

Question 2

Marks: 2
Investigators take a digital image called a and may sometimes use a liquid that can take the shape of the mold called called a to preserve tire track evidence.

Question 3

Marks: 3
When the tire track expert studied the from the crime scene, he recognized the tread pattern. He used a of the tire tread patterns to confirm the .

Question 4

Marks: 4
Investigators were able to obtains tires from a truck to compare with the prints from the crime scene. Here is their process for identifying tire tracks.

They rolled the tires over and made on cardboard. They measured the width of ( blocks) to locate the section of tread that made the impressions. Then they looked for distinctive details, such as missing .
Possible Suspects:

Remember tire prints for all tire manufacturers are stored in a very large commercial database that contains images of tire tread patterns that are currently used by product designers. Below are 13 photographs, which will act as your database. Your job is to look at the two casts taken at the crime scene and identify the tire from which each was made. Click on each photograph to enlarge it so you can see more detail.

[ The following links are to .pdf files, which open with Adobe Reader. ]

tread A
Tread B
tread c
tread D
Tread E
Tread F
Tread G
Tread H
Tread I
Tread J
Tread K
Tread L
Tread M

Question 5

Marks: 2
We have two separate casts collected from the crime scene.

Suspect 1:


Suspect 2:


Using the database above, find the tire tread that matches the casts taken at the crime scene. Make sure you look at each tread in the database before making your selection. If you get stuck, you might want to print out the database to help you identity the suspects.

Write which LETTER (A,B,C etc.) corresponds to each of the casts above.

Suspect 1:

Suspect 2:

Question 6

Marks: 2
Question 6A: Why wouldn't tire tread evidence alone be enough to convict a suspect?

Question 6B: Watch the video below and explain what Mrs. Lancenese and Mrs. Intelicato are making for the crime lab. (HINT: Use today's lesson).



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