Navigating a Four-Way Stop
BATON ROUGE - Hurricane Ida's damaging winds triggered widespread outages across south Louisiana.
Days after the storm, energy crews are still working to restore power to the capital area and in the meantime, drivers are encountering a number of traffic light outages.
When approaching an intersection where traffic lights are out, it can be tough to remember exactly how to handle the makeshift Four-Way Stop.
One of the first things to remember is the importance of slowing down and coming to a complete stop. Only then can you look around and see what's happening at the intersection.
After this, the five general rules regarding Four-Way Stops listed below can come in handy:
Pedestrians have the right of way
At these intersections, pedestrians have priority over vehicles and are always allowed to proceed first at Four-Way Stops.
First to arrive, first to go
The first car to pull up to the stop sign is the first car that goes first. If cars are all stopping at the intersection at different times, each should proceed through in the order they arrived. It doesn’t matter which direction a car is going. Basically, you wait for your turn and don’t cut in line.
In a tie, yield to the car on your right
If two cars pull up to the intersection at the same time, the car at the right typically goes first.
Straight before turns
If two cars are across the intersection from each other at the same time, and no car is on the right of the other, it depends on the traveling direction of the two cars. If they are both going straight, they can go at the same time without any problems. If one vehicle is turning and one is going straight, the right-of-way goes to the car going straight.
Right then left
If two cars are directly across from each other and pull up to the four-way stop at the same time and one is turning right and one is turning left, the right-of-way goes to the vehicle turning right.
While following these rules of the road will ease the process of clearing a Four-Way Stop, sometimes an aggressive or forgetful driver will think it's their turn and pull out into the intersection.
In those cases, it may be best to yield to them, even if you had the right-of-way. Doing so will protect what matters most, your safety and the safety of the drivers around you.