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Ask 2: Who has the right-of-way at a 4-way stop?

Traffic moves along a freeway in Hosuton on Sept. 6, 2017. (KPRC)
Traffic moves along a freeway in Hosuton on Sept. 6, 2017. (KPRC)

HOUSTONAt KPRC 2, we’re dedicated to keeping Houstonians informed. As part of our new Ask 2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston.

Question: Cynthia, from the Heights area, wants to know: Who has the right-of-way at a 4-way stop?

Answer: We all know how frustrating it can be to figure out the dance at a four-way stop. Traffic Expert Anavid Reyes did a little digging to figure out a healthy answer for drivers.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  • First come, first served: At a 4-way stop, the first car to arrive at the intersection goes first. It doesn’t matter where the vehicle is located or what direction they’re traveling, this rule will always apply when someone has clearly arrived at the stop sign first. However, be careful of drivers who ignore this rule.
  • Drivers yield to the right: If two vehicles come to a stop at a four-way stop at the same time and are next to each other, the right-of-way goes to the person who is on the right. If three vehicles arrive at the same time, the car furthest left should continue to yield until both of the other cars to the right of them have passed.
  • Straight goes before turning: When you get to a 4-way intersection and are head-to-head with another vehicle, make sure to use your blinkers to show other drivers the direction you’re intending to travel. When two vehicles arrive at a 4-way stop at the same time, and they are head-to-head and one of the vehicles is wanting to turn and the other intends to go straight, the vehicle going straight has right of way. Keep in mind that if both vehicles are going straight or turning in the same direction, they can both proceed at the same time as they will not cross each other’s path.

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