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Ely
Ely, Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
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Experience:  Private practice
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Who proceeds at a 4 way stop? Ive read up on this but am

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Who proceeds at a 4 way stop?

I've read up on this but am still slightly confused. As I understand it, if two or more vehicles arrive at a 4 way stop at different times, the car that arrived first proceeds first, correct?

Second, if two vehicles arrive at the same time then the car furthest to the right proceeds first correct? What does this mean "furthest to the right" ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

The first vehicle at the intersection is the one which moves forward first. This is the PRIME RULE.

There is a SECONDARY RULE which comes into play only if two vehicles arrive at the four-way at the same time. If two or more vehicles reach the four-way at the same time, the vehicle on the very right would have the right of way.

This handles about 95% of such situations. Now there is no rule as to what to do is all four vehicles arrive at the same time, however. But this rarely ever happens.

Ergo:

As I understand it, if two or more vehicles arrive at a 4 way stop at different times, the car that arrived first proceeds first, correct?

Yes.

Second, if two vehicles arrive at the same time then the car furthest to the right proceeds first correct? What does this mean "furthest to the right" ?

It means the driver furthest to the right (they get first right of way) to the vehicle that DID NOT arrive at the same time.

I hope this helps and clarifies.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I think maybe I need some example to understand. Let's assume in each of these situations below myself and one other car arrive at the SAME time at a 4 way stop. In each of these situations who proceeds first?


 


a) another car arrives at the same time as me, on my right?


b) another car arrives at the same time as me, on my left?


c) another car arrives at the same time as me, directly opposite me and signals to make a left turn across my path?


 


Thanks!


 


I think the answers are a) other car b) me c) me ?

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
David,

I think maybe I need some example to understand.

That is fine - this is what I am here for.

Let's assume in each of these situations below myself and one other car arrive at the SAME time at a 4 way stop.

Okay.

In each of these situations who proceeds first?

a) another car arrives at the same time as me, on my right?


Then the car on your right proceeds first.

b) another car arrives at the same time as me, on my left?

You proceed first.

c) another car arrives at the same time as me, directly opposite me and signals to make a left turn across my path?

Yes. This is because even though you are to their right and they are to yours, a little known TERTIARY RULE states that if such is the case, the vehicle who makes the longest drive across the cross-road has first right. Because he is crossing and this forms an "arc," he drives longer, so he has first right of way.

You my friend are really hair-splitting this, and I love it.

Again:

The first vehicle at the intersection is the one which moves forward first. This is the PRIMARY RULE.

There is a SECONDARY RULE which comes into play only if two vehicles arrive at the four-way at the same time. If two or more vehicles reach the four-way at the same time, the vehicle on the very right would have the right of way.

The TERTIARY RULE is if the two vehicles are opposite of each other (and hence, both are to the right of each other) and arrive at the same time, whoever has a longer drive across receives first right to go, i.e. such as someone who is turning in most cases...


Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

A TERTIARY rule about the longest drive! Wow, that is really non-obvious and very interesting. I would have guessed the driver going straight would have the right of way. Well, now I know and I'll just hope the other drivers do this correctly as well. In my small town they've replaced some 4-ways and 3-ways with roundabouts and I wish they'd do it for EVERY such intersection because they're fantastic. Until then at least now I know how these things work (finally.) Thanks for the fantastic answers!

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
David,

The tertiary rule is mostly informal, and I do not believe that it has been adopted, although I've seen it used once in Court...

You are very welcome. Good luck, and please don't forget to rate my answer in one of top three faces and then SUBMIT – it is the only way I get credit for my time with you – or, please REPLY to keep on chatting – I want you to be satisfied.
Ely, Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 87219
Experience: Private practice
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