Abstract Transportation vehicles, whether they are passenger vehicles or heavy trucks and transport vehicles, rely upon rubber tires to negotiate the roadways and surfaces on which they are driven. These tires have the potential of sudden rupture resulting from various causes including but not limited to over-pressurization, sidewall failures, or punctures from roadway debris. These rupture events can and do occur while the vehicles are stationary (e.g., during servicing) or are being driven, and often occur without notice. While the phenomenon of sudden tire failure has been documented for several decades, the potential bodily injury which can occur when an individual is in close proximity to such a sudden rupture has only more recently been documented. Aside from anecdotal mention in case studies, there has been little quantitative information available on the acoustic levels during these failures. Our study provides measured acoustic levels as a function of distance for such catastrophic tire failures.