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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 99-108

Chemical Analysis of Tire Traces in Traffic Accidents Investigation

Faculty of Law, Criminal Justice and Public Administration, School of Criminal Justice, University of Lausanne, Batochime, CH-1015 Lausanne-Dorigny, Switzerland

Correspondence Address:
Line Gueissaz
School of Criminal Justice, University of Lausanne, UNIL–Batochime, CH-1015 Lausanne-Dorigny
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2349-5014.164660

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The aim of the forensic investigation of traffic accidents is to help establish the nature and/or the circumstances of the event. This might be done with the purpose of determining the legal responsibilities of each person involved or to provide families, with a reconstruction of the events, to help understand why their relatives were injured or killed. A methodology for the comparison of chemical profiles of tire traces and tire tread samples obtained by pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry has been developed. Chemical profiles are represented by relative abundances of 86 compounds. The variability of the tread within and between 12 tires was assessed. Considering the level of the source as "brand and model" the intra-variability was found to be smaller than the inter-variability, leading to the complete discrimination of the 12 tires of the sample set. Braking tests were carried out on a racetrack in order to produce tire traces which origin was known. The results obtained with a supervised classification method showed that more than 94% of the replicates of the traces were correctly assigned to the class membership (i.e., brand and model) of the tire at their origin. These results support that the chemical profile of one trace does not differ from the chemical profile of the tire at its origin but differs generally from the other chemical profiles of the sample set.

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