Sunday, July 26, 2009

Four-Way Stops

I don't know if this happens where you live, but around here most people don't know what to do at a four-way stop. Defensive driving takes on a whole new meaning there. The practice that gets to me the most is from courteous males who even though they arrived at their stop before I did making it their turn will wave their hand to signal me to go on in a "Ladies first" gesture. I nod at them to thank them and go on. I appreciate politeness but am trying to follow the rules. It's never a good idea to assert your right-of-way and assume other drivers know what they're doing, drive safely, are paying attention, and are sober and alert. I just wonder if this happens where you live, too.

The rules from an interesting blog HERE:
When you pull up to a four-way stop the first person to arrive at the intersection gets to go first. But what if two, or even three, cars pull up at the same time? Well, I'm glad you asked because I'm convinced that only fifteen or twenty percent of the driving population knows the answer. (In fact, in a pamphlet for European drivers learning new road rules for North America, it states that most U.S. drivers do not understand how to use a four-way stop.)

The car to the right goes first. No, it doesn't matter who's going straight, who's turning right, or who's turning left. The car to the right always goes first. Always. I'll provide a diagram for you if there's still any question about how this works (car C goes first):

15 comments:

Howard said...

Thank you! Drives me nuts that many people seem to have no clue about that!

David Dust said...

Even I knew that - and I haven't driven regularly in 16 years.

People are stoopid...

XOXOXOXO

Berry Blog said...

I think it works better than lights. everybody has to stop and think and become aware of everybody else at that intersection. at one we have, four cars approach consistently...the right as right of way just doesn't work.Unless the drivers are complete jerks, we are aware of who arrived first. ut we often do a lot of starts and stops in the process....somebody is always willing to wave on somebody else.and there are the impatient ones, we are all willing to spare lives to tolerate their rush.
There seems to be an unspoken language here too...the ones making a left turn really should wait because they could hold up everybody. And the right turn ones, we all sort of understand and don't mind sneaking around the corner.
It seems the greatest offenders of any kind of courtesy are people at the lights.

#Debi said...

The problem with that diagram is that car C is to the right of car B also, so that could be very confusing for everyone concerned.

Dan said...

that rule doesnt work in chicago. half the time people dont even stop, and if you hesitate too long, people start honking at you

Gummi Bare said...

Deb, I think C goes first because there is no one to the right of it.

#Debi said...

D'oh! You're right--I misread the answer and thought they meant for car B to go first...

Mariana Soffer said...

Ypu remind me about going to the dmv in LA.
Well now in Argentina I can tell you that is certainly not the case, they will hit you for sure if you are not really alert, and it doesen t matter if your a top model or a beautiful actress, they just want to go first

#Debi said...

Our town decided to put in a roundabout a few years ago. For the first couple of years, it was like people thought there was a demolition derby track put in right in the middle of town!

Pseudonymph said...

We have mostly roundabouts on intersections like that - give way signs, and the rule to give way to your right (remembering that we drive on the left)

Sam said...

Oh Gawd, I'm going to pass on this one. The last thing you need is someone blogjackin you.
Joy I do want to say one thing.
I'm very much guilty of waving on the women at the 4 way stop.

Beth said...

this is really a pet peeve of mine!!!! and what about "yield signs"....we still haae yield signs in my neighborhood, and people do not know what it means to "yield"!!!!!!

ACCCKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!

Joy said...

Oh yes about the yield signs, Beth! That's another one!

Sam, blogjack all you want. I do that sometimes (and you know whose blogs I've done this on - sorry), so it's fine with me. I do appreciate the courtesy when men do that, but it's easier to figure out at a door.

Pseudonymph, I could never drive in Australia or the UK unless I were the only one on the road. In an emergency situation, I'd swerve over into the right lane and kill us all.

Welcome, Mariana! Glad to have you here and would love to hear about your LA DMV experience compared to Argentina.

I can see that happening in Chicago, Dan. It's not as bad as Boston, though! I'd never drive there. Riding in the car with someone who lives there was more than enough for me.

Interesting, Charlie.

Thanks, Rusty Driver David!

What would Lyle do, Howard? :-)

Marker said...

My dad, who taught Driver's Ed in college and who was an excellent teacher to my sister and me when we were Student Drivers (except for a few failed attempts at the manual transmission thing about which I shall say no more), would be so proud of you.

Is there a way you can send that diagram to EVERY DRIVER in the City of Chicago?? Every single 4-way stop is an experience in assholism + stupidity + obliviousness (are you listening, Lincoln Park Trixies??). Infuriating . . . although I must admit to exhibiting all of the above every now and then, so thank you for the excellent reminder.

fatsniper2 said...

This "to the right" thing makes no sense...everybody says "the car to the right"...well everybodys "right" is not the same car. What am I missing here? #2...if you are at a 4 way stop with wide lanes, is it wrong to make a get in the right side of the street (without a actual lane being marked on the ground) at the same time the car next to you goes strait?