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4-way stop revisited

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  • 4-way stop revisited

    Ok, I've asked this question here before but now I'm finding myself confused by supposedly authoritative sources who appear to disagree...

    Approach A) I used to think that a 4-way stop was a 'first-to-stop first-served' arrangement (and yield-to-the-right when two cars come to a stop at the same time)

    Approach B) After my prior post here I came to understand that the 4-way stop is not 'linked' like that - and that a car simply must stop, and then yield to vehicles that are already moving through the intersection. (Could be described as 'first-moving-again first served). If two cars ARE both stopped at their stop lines then the normal rules still apply between those stopped cars, such as left-turn yeilds to oncoming traffic etc.


    Imagine two cars arrive, one stops 1/2 second before the other, and the second car stops before the first one sets off again... So now the two cars are not moving, but both know that car #1 arrived first. The cars are facing each other at a 4-way stop. Car 1 wishes to make a left, car 2 wants to go straight.

    The main difference between approaches A and B is that in approach A car 1 would have ROW because he stopped before car 2. In approach B the ROW goes to car 2 becuase he's going straight.

    So which is it? Does ROW stay with the car the comes to a stop first? Or does the 4-way stop become irrelevant once multiple cars are stopped at the same time (rgeardless of who actually stopped first), meaning the regular rules of the road then apply instead? (ie left turner yeields to oncoming, cars on right have ROW etc)
    Last edited by JohnG; 08-02-2008, 12:27 PM.

  • #2
    Maybe I'm being to hyper-logical about it.

    Basic question: The DMV handbook says; "If two vehicles stop at the same time..." Does that mean "If two vehicles come to a stop at the same time..." or "If two vehicles are stopped at the same time..."

    Comment


    • #3
      I think its the former...your reading waaay to much into that question me thinks

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by lionheartednyhc View Post
        I think its the former...your reading waaay to much into that question me thinks
        I've heard both opinions from different places - even from here. Who would have the definitive answer?

        Comment


        • #5
          You stop, other car stops, you go, he goes...It ain't rocket science.....

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ChiTownDet View Post
            You stop, other car stops, you go, he goes...It ain't rocket science.....
            Your opinion differs from others even on this site.

            It's not rocket science - that's because it's apparently not a science at all.

            Comment


            • #7
              The way I always looked at it was:

              A) If you arrive at the same time as another vehicle or 2 vehicles the person on the farthest right has the ROW.

              B) If 4 vehicles arrive at the same time the alternating directions take turns. In other words, north and south go, then west and east. Those turning left yield to the car coming the opposite direction, just like with a green light.

              Of course all of our opinions differ, ask 1000 people what the right answer would be to this question and I'm sure you'll get different answers no matter what b/c people have different understandings. Bottom line, if you're just not sure, proceed cautiously...or just be nice and wave a person on.
              The above comments reflect the personal, off-the-record, unofficial opinions of the individual posting them only, and in no way, shape, or form should be taken to indicate any particular opinion, policy, or belief by the poster's or any other agency, governmental entity, organization, or corporation. Thank you and have a nice day.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by InfiniteTeach View Post
                A) If you arrive at the same time as another vehicle or 2 vehicles the person on the farthest right has the ROW.
                I have always had a problem with that saying. Why? Because if 2 cars arrive at a stop at the same time while facing each other, neither of them is to "the right" of the facing driver.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CityCopDC View Post
                  I have always had a problem with that saying. Why? Because if 2 cars arrive at a stop at the same time while facing each other, neither of them is to "the right" of the facing driver.
                  Made even more confusing if one of them wants to turn left.

                  If the left-turning car stopped 1/2 second before the straight car, but didn't set off again before the straight car stopped... Who has ROW?

                  It all centers around the definition of "When two cars stop at the same time":

                  - If you believe it means "are stopped at the same time" then the straight car has ROW because once both cars are stopped at the same time the stop signs become irrelevant and normal driving rules take over.

                  - If you believe it means "come to a stop at the same time" then the left-turner has ROW because he came to a stop first.


                  If Mr.Left and Mr.Straight collide (and both will invariably state that they stopped first) but no independant proof then who gets what ticket? What if you HAVE some irrefutable proof (or both drivers agree) that Mr.Left stopped first but Mr.Straight stopped then set off again before Mr.Left set off again?
                  Last edited by JohnG; 08-03-2008, 07:59 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If Mr.Left and Mr.Straight collide (and both will invariably state that they stopped first) but no independant proof then who gets what ticket? What if you HAVE some irrefutable proof that Mr.Left stopped first but Mr.Straight stopped before Mr.Left set off again?
                    Don't ticket anyone. Write the report and let the insurance companies figure it out.
                    summer - winter - work

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CityCopDC View Post
                      I have always had a problem with that saying. Why? Because if 2 cars arrive at a stop at the same time while facing each other, neither of them is to "the right" of the facing driver.
                      Agreed, but if the two cars are both going straight, there is no issue. If one car is turning left and the other is going straight, straight gets ROW. If both cars are turning opposite directions (i.e. one east, one west), there is no issue. If both cars are turning in the same direction (i.e. both east) the vehicle that does not have to cross the oncoming lane would go first.

                      Definately confusing. Best answer I saw was let the insurance company figure it out!
                      The above comments reflect the personal, off-the-record, unofficial opinions of the individual posting them only, and in no way, shape, or form should be taken to indicate any particular opinion, policy, or belief by the poster's or any other agency, governmental entity, organization, or corporation. Thank you and have a nice day.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by InfiniteTeach View Post
                        Agreed, but if the two cars are both going straight, there is no issue. If one car is turning left and the other is going straight, straight gets ROW. If both cars are turning opposite directions (i.e. one east, one west), there is no issue. If both cars are turning in the same direction (i.e. both east) the vehicle that does not have to cross the oncoming lane would go first.

                        Definately confusing. Best answer I saw was let the insurance company figure it out!
                        We're getting closer to an answer.

                        The question still remains, though. If car A stops 1/2 second before car B but and both cars are now sitting there facing each other... Does this count as "two cars stop at the same time"?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JohnG View Post
                          We're getting closer to an answer.

                          The question still remains, though. If car A stops 1/2 second before car B but and both cars are now sitting there facing each other... Does this count as "two cars stop at the same time"?
                          Are you really this obtuse? 1st car there goes 1st. Period.

                          If your Mr. Left and Mr. Straight cannot avoid a collision at a 4-way stop after they both come to a complete stop, then neither of them deserves to be driving anyway.

                          My posts are sometimes educated, sometimes informed, and sometimes blowing smoke...but they are mine and mine alone and do not reflect on anyone else (especially my employer).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by firemanjb View Post
                            Are you really this obtuse? 1st car there goes 1st. Period.

                            If your Mr. Left and Mr. Straight cannot avoid a collision at a 4-way stop after they both come to a complete stop, then neither of them deserves to be driving anyway.

                            What a wonderful answer that contributed absolutely nothing at all to the question asked. I could see if JohnG's post was laced with sarcasm or being trollish but, it seems like a legitimate question. Here, take one of these....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CityCopDC View Post
                              What a wonderful answer that contributed absolutely nothing at all to the question asked. I could see if JohnG's post was laced with sarcasm or being trollish but, it seems like a legitimate question. Here, take one of these....
                              It answered the question, as did 3 other posts. First to stop goes first. It doesn't matter who starts sooner. If they arrive and stop at the same time, straight has ROW over the left turn. The fact that one started earlier and pre-empted the system doesn't make him correct. It is almost asinine to think that the left-turn driver would be so bent on his ROW that he would still accelerate through the intersection and cause a collision just to show that he had ROW.

                              Your answer didn't address the question...if the cars are facing each other, then ROW isn't an issue if they are both going straight. Turning left always yields ROW, so that is simple too.

                              Sheesh...you two are treating this like a huge ethical dilemma when it is nothing more than common sense with rules outlined in the driver's manual.
                              Last edited by firemanjb; 08-04-2008, 04:12 PM. Reason: clarification
                              My posts are sometimes educated, sometimes informed, and sometimes blowing smoke...but they are mine and mine alone and do not reflect on anyone else (especially my employer).

                              Comment

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