I caught this story on 20/20 over my basement email wire. I missed the original airing so I thought I'd check it out since I'm not known to rotate the tires on the hoopty too frequently. In my impressionable days I used to believe that as long as a tire had enough tread to touch Abe Lincoln's head on an upside down penny, you were good for another 100,000 miles or so. Now I see the folly of my logic, y'all. The way 20/20 broke it down is that any tire that's 6 years old or older has a higher potential for 'tread separation' - no matter how good the tread looks on the tire...
Even after hearing that I was like 'So? All you need to do is pull over and change that joint like any other flat tire'. This is the type of attitude you get when you know everything like me, y'all. And it's a wonder that ol Ty isn't dead yet. In the piece they did a controlled experiment with a 'professional driver on a closed course' who knew his tire was about to go and when it did go, ol boy was still unable to control his ride and ended up crashing. The thing with tread separation vs. a regular blowout is that once the tread is off the tire, it's like riding on an ice cube - there's no grip.
Turns out that tire dealers sometime sell old a$$ tires as new and because the tread looks good and they've never been used, they look like brand new tires despite the fact that they've been manufactured back when Lionel Richie was big. The good news is that there's actually a manufacture date on each tire, but it's in code and sometimes on the *inner' wall of the tire where you'd need to get up under the car to read it.
Anyway, the story is short enough to take in over some coffee and that plate of cold chicken that mama left out for breakfast. If it's just you ridin' around in your hoopty and you're normally in there with a open 40 and a blunt with the windows rolled up - no need to watch - something else is gonna take you out. But if you're ridin' around with your boo, your kids, nieces or nephews and/or your mama, do the right thing, y'all - watch and learn.