Critical Speed Formula (CSF) belongs to the canon of tools used in reconstruction of vehicle accidents. It is used to calculate vehicle speed at the beginning of tire yaw marks and, together with the entire methodology of processing the information contained in the marks into the data, is often referred to as the Critical Speed Method (CSM). Its great practical importance as well as recurring doubts as to the reliability make it one of the best experimentally and theoretically studied methods. Although the CSF applies in fact to a point mass, it is used with reference to a vehicle, i.e., an increasingly complicated multi-body system. Accident reconstruction experts point out the particular usefulness of Lambourn's research concerning the CSM in respect to a passenger car.
This article presents the results of an analysis of the yaw marks left by a car with normal pressure in all tires and then normal pressure in three tires and zero in one rear tire. The analysis is a continuation of research on influence of reduced tire pressure on car lateral dynamics in a passing maneuver, discussed in the SAE paper No. 2014-01-0466. Preliminary analysis of yaw marks has shown, that a wheel with zero pressure deposits a yaw mark whose geometry differs from the yaw mark made by a wheel with normal pressure based on which we could calculate: critical speed, slip angle and longitudinal wheel slip. The aim of the presented research was to analyze the yaw marks left by car with zero pressure in one rear wheel in order to check the possibility of determining the vehicle critical speed, slip angle and longitudinal wheel slip. It was reached by performing bench and road tests during which the vehicle motion parameters were recorded using GPS Data Logging System.