Who Has The Right of Way at a Four Way Stop?

Arriving at a four way stop at the same time as another is an experience all drivers have. So what do you do if you get to the intersection at the same time as that vehicle? Who has the right-of-way in this situation? 

Try not to be upset if someone goes out of turn. Even if you know you have the right-of-way, yield to an aggressive driver who thinks it’s their turn and pulls out into the 4-way intersection. The regulations are there to keep traffic moving and keep everyone safe. It’s important to know when it’s your turn to drive through the intersection, but don’t get so caught up in how it should go that you endanger yourself.

These types of intersections are tricky for many drivers. If you are injured in a collision that occurs at a four way stop, you need an experienced Shreveport personal injury attorney on your side. At Gordon & Gordon Law Firm, we help clients all throughout the Ark-La-Tex in receiving the compensation they deserve after an injury due to the fault of another.

Stop Sign Rules

The first car to arrive at a stop sign is yielded the right of way. The direction of travel of two cars arriving at the intersection at the same time, and located across from each other, determines the right-of-way.

  • Both drivers can go if both are going straight or turning right.
  • If one vehicle is signaling a right turn and the other is not, the driver traveling straight is yielded the right-of-way.
  • A driver turning right is yielded the right-of-way if one driver is turning right and one is turning left.

Who Goes First at a Four Way Stop?

Among the first rules of the road covered in driving school are four way stops, or crossroads where all four directions of traffic must come to a complete stop. Many drivers, on the other hand, find them challenging because they can’t remember who goes first. Firm knowledge of the four rules of four way stops is one of the easiest ways to avoid collisions, frustrations, and road rage at a 4-way intersection. Here are some rules to remember:

First To Arrive, First To Go

The first car to arrive at a stop sign is the first to go. Cars should proceed in the order that they arrive at the intersection. Also, it also doesn’t matter which way a vehicle is traveling. Just like you learned as a child, you should wait your turn to respect other drivers.

Tie Goes To the Right

If two cars come to a complete stop at the intersection at the same time, or very close to it, the law says to yield the right-of-way to the car on the right. If another car pulls up to the intersection, the cars that got there at the same time go first.

Straight Before Turns

If two cars arrive at the four way stop at the same time, are across from each other, and no car is to the right of either vehicle, the right-of-way is based on the traveling direction of the two cars. They can both go straight at the same time if they are both traveling straight.  If one vehicle is turning while the other is traveling straight, the vehicle going straight has the right-of-way.

Right Then Left

Traffic yields to the vehicle turning right if two cars are across from each other and pull up to the four way stop at the same moment, and one is going right and the other is turning left. Because they are both attempting to merge into the same lane of traffic, it is natural for the car turning right to take the lead because it is closest to the lane.

The Law Gives the Right of Way at Intersections

The law does not necessarily provide who has the right-of-way, but rather, it specifies who must yield the right-of-way. To avoid a collision, every motorist, biker, and pedestrian must do everything possible. You are allowing another vehicle to move ahead of you when you surrender the right-of-way. When multiple vehicles arrive at an intersection at the same time, the “Yield to the Driver on the Right” rule governs most intersections.

At crosswalks and intersections, pedestrians must always be yielded the right-of-way. Bicycles are considered vehicles, so they abide by the same rules as other drivers. As a result, the right-of-way isn’t always yielded to bicycles.

What Happens if Two Vehicles Reach at the Same Time an Intersection with Four-Way Stop Signs?

Two cars may come to a complete stop at the intersection at the same time, or very close to it. According to the law, the vehicle on the right is yielded the right-of-way if there’s a question about which car got there first. If another vehicle pulls up to the 4-way intersection, the cars that got there first pass through first.

What Happens if an Accident Occurs at a Four Way Stop?

If you were in a four way stop collision, you’ll need to know how the law applies to figure out who was at fault. You also need to report the accident, document the scene, keep proof of your damages, and take care to protect your rights.

How to Determine Fault in a Four Way Stop Accident

It’s likely the other driver is to blame if they fail to use the intersection properly and hit you. You may be able to pursue compensation for your damages by filing a personal injury claim with the driver’s insurance carrier.

Sometimes, fault in a four way stop accident is easy to determine. Other times, it’s not so easy. You’ll have to ask a lot of questions about your accident, such as:

  • Is it possible that the other car failed to come to a complete stop at their stop sign?
  • Before the crash, who had the right-of-way?
  • Did you and the other driver arrive at the intersection at the same time?

To prove the other driver’s fault in the accident, you’ll need to gather proof. Every driver has a legal obligation to drive cautiously. Here are some ideas for gathering evidence to support your claim and prove that the other driver was at fault:

Report the Accident

Each state has its own set of procedures for reporting accidents. For example, motorists involved in a car accident in Louisiana are obligated by law to report the accident to law enforcement if there is an injury or death, or if the property damage exceeds $500. An accident report will be created by the police and can be used to support your case.

Document the Scene

When you file your claim, you’ll have to show what transpired during the accident. Take pictures of any injuries you received, as well as any damage to your vehicle, the accident scene, and anything else you think is helpful to prove what happened.

Speak to accident witnesses (which is likely if there were other automobiles or pedestrians at the four-way stop), and get their contact information. Your lawyer can contact witnesses for statements.

Be sure to get information from the other driver too, including their name, phone number, and insurance policy details. You need this to submit a claim with the other driver’s insurer.

Keep Proof of Damages

The more evidence of your car accident damages you have, the better. Save all medical bills, receipts, and record time off from work, among other things. Speak to your Shreveport car accident lawyer about what information you need for your records.

While your memory is fresh, make a list of everything you remember about the accident. Also, include what the other driver did just before the impact. This is helpful in keeping your facts straight as you construct your case.

Protect Your Rights

If you were in a collision with another driver, their insurance company will probably contact you. This should be avoided at all costs. Before dealing with the other driver’s insurance company, you should speak to an attorney. Insurance adjusters look for ways to save money by taking advantage of accident victims.

If You’ve Had an Accident at a Four Way Stop, Call the Personal Injury Attorneys at Gordon & Gordon

At a four way stop, communication is the best way to stay safe. Wave the other vehicle through or signal that it’s their turn to let them know you’ll wait for them to go first if you’re not sure who’s turn it is to go.

When a driver violates the right-of-way laws and causes an accident, they may be held liable for any injuries that result. If you were involved in a wreck, contact Gordon & Gordon as soon as possible. Request a consultation at any of our convenient locations in Northwest Louisiana by calling (318) 770-0118 or sending us a message about your case today.