Here Are The Rules of a Four-Way Stop Intersection: We’re Here To Help
Almost every day, I drive to the Quaker Crossing Plaza in Orchard Park to pick up my fiancee from work.
Anyone who knows that intersection knows how much of a pain it can be. It's a four-way stop, but it isn't your ordinary four-way stop. There are 2-3 lanes in each direction, so you could conceivably have 5-6-7 cars get to the intersection at once...so yes, chaos usually ensues.
I'm always amazed just how loosey-goosey drivers are when it comes to four-way stop intersections. I'm not sure if people 1) don't know the rules of a four-way stop intersection or 2) don't care enough to know.
So, just a refresher, these are the rules of a four-way stop intersection, courtesy of Top Driver. These might bring back memories of your five-hour driving course.
1. The first rule for every single four-way stop is "First come, first serve." Meaning, if you get to the intersection before anyone else, you have the "right of way", regardless of which direction you're going. It also doesn't matter if a driver is coming from across and turning, if they're there first, they always have the first crack to go.
2. The second rule (or tiebreaker, if you will) is "Yield to the Right." Meaning, if two cars get to the intersection at the same time, and are side-by-side, the vehicle furthest to the right always has the right of way. If it's three cars at once, the car furthest to the left should yield to the two cars to the right.
3. Thirdly, in case two cars get there at once and one is going straight, while the other is turning, the car going straight ALWAYS has the right of way. That's why using turn signals is important in situations such as this. Remember, if two cars get there at the same time, cars going straight have the right of way.
4. Fourthly, is the rule of right over left. If two cars get there at the same time and one is turning left through the intersection and the other is turning right (not through the intersection), the car turning right always has the right of way.
But what if all four cars get there at the exact same time? Doesn't happen very often but it's recommended you follow a clockwise direction, so the car furthest to the right has the right away, and so on.
I know, it's a lot to process, but a four-way stop is not a free-for-all...and I know that will continue to happen!