Skid to Scuff

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The two marks depicted here were left by the same vehicle tire reacting to an outside stimuli. The one in the foreground is a SKID mark defined as a friction mark on a pavement made by a tire that is sliding without rotation whereas a SCUFF mark is a friction mark on a pavement made by a tire which is both rotating and slipping. The latter merely scrubs or smudges over the pavement surface and can often exhibit striations. Therefore, the outside stimuli acting upon the tire which produces the resulting SKID mark is from hard braking of the vehicle which causes the tire to stop rotating and slide in its original direction leaving the four identifiable “rib” markings. Subsequently, at point of impact, the skid mark is abruptly stopped as another outside stimuli (collision) disrupts/alters its course by creating lift and/or displacement of the vehicle. The space depicted here is an example of the vehicle tire being temporarily lifted then “slammed” down in an orientation where the redirection of the tire is both slipping and rotating, thus a SCUFF mark. Identifying these types of roadway marks are crucial in determining vehicle pre-impact and post-impact motions. The Engineers at Quality Forensic Engineering, LLC are trained in these details and look forward to assisting you with your crash analysis and reconstruction cases.

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