We’ve all been there. That moment when you come to a 4-way stop and aren’t sure who has the right of way. It can be a frustrating experience, but more importantly, it can be hazardous.
Follow these 4 rules to a 4-way stop to keep traffic flowing smoothly and safely.
1. The first vehicle to arrive takes the right of way
At a 4-way stop, the first car to arrive at the intersection receives the right of way. It doesn’t matter where the vehicle is located or what direction it is traveling, this rule will always apply when someone has clearly arrived at the stop sign first. However, be wary of aggressive or distracted drivers that may dismiss this rule.
2. Always yield to the right
When two vehicles arrive at a 4-way stop at the same time side-by-side, the vehicle furthest to the right has the right of way. If three vehicles arrive at the same time, the car furthest left should continue to yield until both of the other cars to the right of them have passed.
3. Straight traffic takes the right of way over turning traffic.
When arriving at an intersection head-to-head with another vehicle, it is important to use signals. When two vehicles arrive at a 4-way stop at the same time, and they are located head-to-head and one of the vehicles intends to turn and the other intends to go straight, the vehicle going straight has right of way. Keep in mind that if both vehicles are going straight or turning in the same direction, they can both proceed at the same time as they will not cross each other’s path.
4. Right turns take the right of way over left turns.
When two vehicles arrive at a 4-way stop at the same time, and they are located head-to-head and one of the vehicles intends to turn right and the other intends to turn left, the vehicle turning right has right of way. Move forward slowly before entering the intersection to indicate to other drivers you are making the turn. The driver turning left should wait until the other car has fully passed.
Who has the right of way if 4 cars approach a 4-way stop at the same time?
There is not a designated rule as to who should go first. However, it is recommended that you wait for the most aggressive driver to make the first move and then proceed with caution using the rules above from there. Overall, it’s important to be patient and alert when approaching a 4-way stop.