I see it in El Paso all the time ... peeps sitting at a 4 way stop sign just looking at each other like first day Driver's Ed students. Who goes when?

The stop sign is such a simple concept - approach, stop, make sure you're clear, proceed. Easy right?  Not always.

Seems like every day I see people get tripped up at 4 way stops. Patiently, (well, ok, impatiently), waiting to see who's going to go first.


It's not rocket science folks, whoever got there first goes first. That's easy, it's when two or more vehicles arrive at the same time that drivers brains start getting 404 messages.

If two vehicles arrive at the same time going in opposite directions, that's also pretty easy ... they can each go after a full stop and safety check.

Multiple vehicles though, oh boy. It's still easy although, somehow, a ton of drivers seem to have forgotten the rules. Here's a quick refresher course:

  • At a four-way stop, the vehicle that arrived first at the intersection gets the right of way.
  • If two or more vehicles get there together, look to the right. THAT driver has the right of way. No one to your right? Then, you're up.
  • If one vehicle is turning and one isn't, the driver going straight wins. If two are turning, 1 right and 1 left, the right turn take precedence.

What If 4 Cars Arrive At A 4 Way Stop Together?

The bumper cars at the the Auckland Roya
Getty Images

This one is confusing as there doesn't seem to really be a policy here. Rule of thumb, and topdriver.com, indicate you should just wait and see who makes the first move.

Kinda like that first kiss. Except, in this case, you also need to look left and right as you do it to avoid a 3rd kiss.

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