Something I have noticed over the last couple of years is that a lot of people don’t know what to do at a four way stop. It is one of those things we all learn for the exam but don’t really commit to memory so when it comes time to actually needing that info, it isn’t in our recall. The latest trend is to act “polite” and waive on the other person. As nice as this seems, it is not the right way to deal with traffic. In some cases it can even be dangerous if other people are involved that know the traffic laws and act accordingly. It’s pretty simple and one of the things you should commit to memory or find a way to remember it.
Rule #1 – First to come, first to go – When approaching a 4 way stop the first vehicle to arrive has the right of way. That term “right-of-way” will be repeated here because that is what matters. Who has the right-of-way. So if you or another vehicle arrive first they have the right of way so they proceed first.
Rule #2 – Yield to the right. If you approach a stop sign at the same time as another vehicle the one on the right has the, wait for it, right-of-way! That means that the car on the right goes first. The furthest right take precedence. So if 3 vehicles arrive at approximately the same time the vehicle furthest to the right goes first. The one on the left goes last.
Rule #3 – Straight before Turn – if you approach a 4 way stop with another vehicle coming at you in opposing traffic and one of you is turning then the vehicle going straight has the right of way. These rules are to resolve conflict before it happens so if there is no conflict, such as both vehicles going straight or both making a right turn as an example, then you can proceed at your own pace.
Rule #4 Right before Left – If you approach a 4 way intersection with directly opposing traffic and you are turning right and the opposing traffic is turning left (both going to go the same direction) the car turning right has the right of way.
These rules are really just basic common sense. Just try and remember that for the most part, right is right. They go first. Unless of course you are the one on the right and everyone else is to your left. You’re the one left then you leave.