Browse Learn C0102

Tire and Wheel Safety Issues C0102

One of the most important safety critical components on cars, trucks, and aircraft is the pneumatic tire. Vehicle tires primarily control stopping distances on wet and dry roads or runways and strongly influence over-steer/under-steer behavior in handling maneuvers of cars and trucks. The inflated tire-wheel assembly also acts as a pressure vessel that releases a large amount of energy when catastrophically deflated. The tire can also serve as a fulcrum, both directly and indirectly, in contributing to vehicle rollover. This seminar covers these facets of tire safety phenomena. Engineering fundamentals are discussed and illustrated with numerous practical examples and case studies of current public interest.

The Pneumatic Tire, a 700-page E-book on CD, edited by Joseph Walter and Alan Gent is included in the course material.

This course has been approved by the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (ACTAR) for 7 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Upon completion of this seminar, accredited reconstructionists should mail a copy of their course certificate and the $5 student CEU fee to ACTAR, PO Box 1493, North Platte, NE 69103.

Learning Objectives
After completing this seminar attendees will be able to:
  • Describe the most important performance parameters and operating conditions of pneumatic tires related to safety.
  • Use fundamental equations of engineering science to predict and/or explain tire-vehicle interactions related to safety.

Who Should Attend
This course is designed principally for technical professionals in the automobile, tire, and wheel industries and their suppliers. In addition, some case studies and examples involve truck, agriculture, and aircraft tires.

An undergraduate degree in a technical field or commensurate experience is desirable.
  • Introduction
    • Vehicle accident statistics
    • The role of the tire in accident prevention/causation
    • Tire construction features
    • Tire failure modes
  • Tire Grip and Related Phenomena
    • Tire-road friction characteristics
    • Tire braking forces
    • Factors influencing vehicle stopping distance
    • Combined braking and cornering
    • Hydroplaning
    • High speed behavior and standing waves
  • Brake Performance
    • Front wheel/rear wheel lock-up
    • Braking efficiency
    • Anti-lock braking and other systems
  • The Tire as a Pressure Vessel
    • Burst pressure
    • Energy release in punctured tires
    • Wheel issues
    • Tire and/or wheel case studies
  • Over-steering Vehicles
    • Meaning of under-steer coefficient
    • The contribution of the tire
  • Vehicle Rollover Analysis
    • History of rollover
    • Rollover threshold
    • Tripping mechanisms
    • Tire effects
    • Operating conditions
    • Public policy issues
Gerald R. Potts

Gerald Potts Dr. Potts is the Principal in GRP Consulting specializing in tire and vehicle dynamics and is an Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Akron, teaching tire and vehicle dynamics. Previously he worked for Firestone Research as a Research Scientist working on tire dynamics and developing a new Dynamics Research Laboratory and MTS Systems Corporation as Manager of Tire/Wheel Systems and headed the Flat-Tracâ„¢ test system development team. He also initiated the development of indoor tire wear test machines. Dr. Potts also served as an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) teaching classes in vehicle dynamics, chassis engineering, vibrations, and instrumentation. He has also owned his own businesses where he developed tire test system controls and tire rolling resistance test machines and a laboratory high-speed uniformity tire test machine, as well as vehicle safety test systems for vehicle crash tests and component strength tests for major tire and vehicle companies around the world. Dr. Potts earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Wichita State University and Master's and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Kansas State University.

Hotel & Travel Information

Fees: $835.00
SAE Members: $752.00 - $752.00

.7 CEUs
You must complete all course contact hours and successfully pass the learning assessment to obtain CEUs.

"Good coverage of relevant issues concerning tires and vehicle safety."
David Klyde
Principal Research Engineer
Systems Technology, Inc.


"The best I've attended. Exceptional instructor that combined knowledge of subject, easy teaching style and encouragement of group involvement."
E. F. Mallard
Forensic Engineering, Inc.


"Super clear and concise introduction and overview of how the tire affects vehicle performance."
Shaun M. Immel
VP Engineering
Micro-Poise Measurement Systems, LLC


"It has a great technical content as well as a very interesting historical background."
Gerardo Andrade
OE Quality Manager
Pirelli Tire


For additional information, contact SAE Customer Service 1-877-606-7323 (724-776-4970 outside the U.S. and Canada) or at

Duration: 1 Day
This seminar is available for Private Delivery Corporate Learning Engagements only. Request Information »