Do you need to establish:

  • How has the damage to a crucial vehicle component occurred?
  • Did the damage occur during the accident, or at some earlier stage?
  • Is the damage likely to have caused inability to control the vehicle?
  • Should the driver or operator have been aware of the damage?
  • Has there been malicious damage to the component?


Failure types that can arise:


  • Tyre deflations(impact damage inc. kerb crush-damage, bursts, puncture and repair issues, separation/delamination and tread detachment, tread recutting, x-ray examination of damage)
  • Wheels problems(wheel detachment, wheel breakage, casting defects, leaks, tyre valve damage)
  • Examination of metal components(impact failures, fatigue cracking, corrosion, wear, casting defects, welding defects, not-to-specification metal)
  • Vehicle light bulb examinations(state of illumination at impact, pre-accident filament failures, manufacturing defects)
  • Brake defects(accident damage, pre-accident defects, heat damage, leaks)
  • Towing hitch investigations(trailer detachment, coupling head defects, tow-ball and tow-pin defects, pre-accident damage)
  • Seat belts investigations(evidence of use, retractor defects, buckle mechanism failure, attachment failures)
  • Speedometer issues(reliability of post-impact readings, significance of marks)



Most of these fall into the following 3 groups:

1. Primary Safety (i.e. items that affect control of the vehicle)

  • Tyres & Wheels
  • Steering
  • Suspension
  • Brakes
  • Trailer couplings


2. Secondary Safety (i.e. items that protect the vehicle occupants)

  • Seat belts


3. Other (i.e. items that provide conspicuity or information for the driver)

  • Light bulbs
  • Speedometers and other instruments
Damage following tread delamination and detachment
The aftermath of a wheel detachment from a lorry
SEM view showing glass fragments fused onto a hot filament when the bulb was smashed open