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What is the right of way rule at a four way stop?

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2019 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

There are many types of intersections you may come across on Kentucky roadways. Some are straightforward, such as those with a traffic light, and others can be more confusing, such as four-way stops. Four-way stops, whether they are intended or unintended, such as a situation where streetlights are out, are often confusing to drivers of any age and experience level. This type of intersection has some set rules, but they are not always crystal clear.

When breaking down the general rules about four-way stops, though, it becomes easier to understand how they work. The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety gives the basic right of way rules when you come to this type of intersection.

The first rule is if you and another vehicle reach the intersection at the same time and you both stop. In this case, whoever is on the right would have the right of way. If you have nobody to your right but you are to the right of the other driver, then this means you have the right of way.

The second rule is for when you reach the stop sign at different times than another driver. The rule here is that whoever stops first has the right of way. This is usually the prevailing rule. You will have multiple cars reaching the intersection but each stops at different times. The same is true when each stop sign has a line of cars. You all alternate in order who has the right of way.

Now, there may be situations where neither of these rules works. For example, what if you and another car reach the intersection at the same time but you are across from each other? Then, you follow the general right of way rules. Anyone turning right or going straight has the right of way first. Anyone turning left must yield. This information is for education and is not legal advice.