Driving It Home: Aggressive driving
Tailgating, speeding, not signaling when you're switching lanes - just a few examples of aggressive driving, and the subject of this month's Driving It Home. But as our Megan Cruz reports, the State Police say many of us are to blame for other people's bad behaviors.
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NEW YORK STATE -- "Oh, I hate when people weave in and out of traffic!" said Saratoga Springs resident Juliet Martino. "Nothing's worse than that!"
Lake George resident Steve Seaboyer said, "When you're trying to make progress to pass a slower car."
"I get a lot of individuals right up my butt all the time," said Chris Rothermel.
In short, driving can be a real pain.
Trooper Lenny Fornabia says he sees these kinds of things on the roads all the time - tailgating, driving slow in the left lane, unsafe lane changes. He says these are telltale signs of an aggressive driver.
"An aggressive driver is someone who operates a vehicle in a selfish, bold, or pushy manner without regard for the safety of other drivers and the rights of other drivers," said Fornabia.
And what's really dangerous is when aggressive driving turns into road rage.
"Trying to follow someone to their home. I've had numerous fist fights I've had to respond to," said Fornabia.
So the State Police have tickets handy to encourage more courteous and therefore safe drivers. But if tickets don't work, then there can be a driver review.
"You have to go in front of a judge and he or she would make a determination if you kept your license," Fornabia.
So are you an aggressive driver? Everyone we spoke with said no, but their driving habits said yes.
"I slow down and go really slow so they get really pissed off," said Martino.
"The one tailgating is clearly the more aggressive driver," said Fornabia.
But Fornabia says Martino's one as well, and that both would be ticketed.
"You're an aggressive driver in the sense that you're looking to impose your will on another driver," said Fornabia.
What about if someone's tailgating you in the left lane, but you're already driving the maximum speed limit?
"I can just stand my ground and keep what I'm doing and other individuals can act angry around me," said Rothermel.
Fornabia says, "When there's three lanes of roadway, you can be courteous and you could yield the lane."
While Fornabia says Rothermel would not get a ticket, he says he'll likely cause an aggressive driving incident, and that "a negative interaction could ultimately result in an accident, or worse, a criminal act."