What to Do at a 4-Way Stop
I've got a new driver in the household. My teenage son is doing a great job learning the rules of the road. But when we approach a 4-way stop - such as the extremely busy intersection of 85th and Western - we're constantly amazed at how many people do not know how to properly follow a 4-way stop. Some drivers just stop and go without really knowing who is suppose to proceed first.
The intersection of 85th and Western also includes turning lanes. That means eight vehicles can be on the intersection at the same time. Add in a pedestrian or two and it's very confusing.
Here's a little back-to-driving-school lesson: Basically, the driver who arrives first at the intersection will have the right of way.
We also remember from Driver's Ed that at 4-way stop if two vehicles reach the intersection simultaneously, the vehicle on the left must yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.
If two motorists arrive at the intersection at the same time on the same street, a driver who wants to turn left must yield the right of way to the driver from the opposite direction.
According to Justin Freeman, a former police officer, in the event that all 4 vehicles stop at the intersection at the same time, "courtesy should reign - use hand signals to defer right of way, and watch for the same from other drivers."
And the big thing to remember is that you must give way to any pedestrians crossing the road into which you are turning.
Also, if the power is out and the traffic lights are non-functioning at an intersection, these 4-way stop rules go in effect.
This nifty video from johnnyboy3217 at YouTube does a nice job of reviewing the rules of the 4-way stop.