Conference Proceeding

An Analysis of Driver Reactions to Tire Failures Simulated with the National
 Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS)

  • Robert Rucoba (Carr Engineering, Inc., Houston, TX)
  • Lee Carr (Carr Engineering, Inc., Houston, TX)
  • Robert Liebbe (Carr Engineering, Inc., Houston, TX)
  • Amanda Duran (Carr Engineering, Inc., Houston, TX)


Analyses of real-world tire tread belt detachment and/or sudden air loss events as well as vehicle testing of those events have been presented in scientific literature since the 1990’s. These confirm that such tire failures are complex and semi-random events that produce numerous sensory feedback cues to real-world drivers. These analyses further demonstrate that vehicles representing a full spectrum of steering characteristics are typically controllable and are controlled by drivers both during and after the tire disablement event. In 2003, the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) sponsored a study using the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) to evaluate the technical hypothesis that there is a correlation between vehicle linear range understeer gradient and the likelihood of control loss when subject drivers experience a simulated tread belt detachment. The NADS subjects “drove” three simulated “vehicles” with different understeer gradients in a simulated tread separation even. The study’s authors reached conclusions regarding the drivers’ ability to control the “vehicles” which were inconsistent with real-world research. This paper presents an analysis of the NADS study performed to identify possible causes of the conflicting results and provides commentary upon several deficiencies noted in the NADS vehicle/tire modeling and validation. A more comprehensive understanding of the reported driver reactions when viewed in light of real vehicle experiments, real-world data, and an understanding of the limitations of the simulations is provided.

How to Cite:

Rucoba, R. & Carr, L. & Liebbe, R. & Duran, A., (2011) “An Analysis of Driver Reactions to Tire Failures Simulated with the National
 Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS)”, Driving Assessment Conference 6(2011), 136-143. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2011 the author(s)

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Published on
28 Jun 2011
Peer Reviewed