Vehicle Handling with Tire Tread Separation 1999-01-0120
Catastrophic and sudden tire tread separation is an event that drivers of motor vehicles may encounter and, in some instances, is implicated as the cause of motor vehicle crashes and related injury or property damage. In an effort to understand how tire tread separation affects vehicle handling, a series of tread separation handling test programs were conducted. In each tread separation test program a sport utility vehicle was instrumented and equipped with steel belted radial tires that were modified to emulate tread separation between the inner and outer steel belts. The test vehicle was then subjected to a variety of open and closed loop handling test maneuvers. This paper presents the data and analysis from these tests. The research demonstrates through controlled experiments that a tire tread separation has an effect on the vehicle’s fundamental handling characteristics. It also demonstrates that the effect depends on the position of the compromised tire on the vehicle.