I’m pretty cautious about buying into Internet-hyped stories that I recieve from others over email, but this one looks quite legitimate: this 20/20 video explains the dangers of old tires. Like most people, I assumed the only danger in old tires was one of tread – as in, if your tires are so old they’re losing their tread, you shold replace them. This story explains how tires lose the elasticity in the rubber, and that can lead to some catastrophic results. I wasn’t able to find if Canada is any better than the US in terms of laws protecting consumers from buying old tires – though I did discover that Quebec has made it law that car owners put winter tires on their cars this year. The reason for this law? 38% of cars involved in winter accidents in Quebec have all-season tires on. Logic says then that if tires are the contributing factor in these accidents – and I think that’s a pretty big leap in logic – having better tires will reduce the number of accidents. I’ll be interested to see if that’s really the case. I’m in support of anything that saves lives and makes the road safer, but I’m not convinced winter tires are a magic bullet to reducing accidents in the winter months. The biggest problem I’ve seen with winter driving is simply driver idiocy: people who try to go the same 10 kmph over the speed limit regardless of the weather, and they tend to be people who drive trucks or SUVs, thinking that the heavier weight of their vehicle somehow makes them immune to the weather. Staying safe in the winter while driving is 80% driver IQ and 20% vehicle.