Who has the right of way? Two cars approach a busy road opposite each other, both have stop signs. The car who is turning left stops first, the car turning right arrives a bit later, but both are waiting for an opening to turn heading the same direction. Both pull out at the same time and almost collide. Who had the right of way?
That question was recently posted on Facebook by a fellow friend of mine and I was shocked to see that the answers were split across the board, 50-50. Here are some of the answers:
- At a four way stop the car to stop first would have the right of way. If it were a two way stop then the car crossing traffic (left hand turn) must yield to on coming traffic and so the right hand turn car would have right of way.
- The car turning right. Left turn must yield.
- If you got there first, you have the right of way, regardless of the turn and regardless of how long have to wait. That said, I try to make contact with the other driver–hand in my windshield, outside the window, flash my lights–and make/let the other guy go first just to make sure there are no “fuzzy agreements”.
- I remember driving class: the car on the left yields to the car on the right. Been 50 years, maybe it’s changed.
- The car turning right has the right of way.
Well, there can only be one right answer in this case and I was pretty sure I knew it. A trip to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website confirmed my answer. The rule to remember is, First to Stop, First to Go.
Now, maybe it’s just in our area, although I’m guessing this problem reaches beyond our town. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve nearly been hit because a driver apparently did not know this rule . It’s obvious now that some people truly don’t know that this is a rule. Pass it along, share this post/graphic, and let’s get the word out!
It’s also important to note – never insist on taking the right-of-way. The law does not allow anyone the right-of-way. It only states who must yield. When a driver is legally required to yield the right-of-way but fails to do so, other drivers are required to stop or yield as necessary for safety. So, if another driver does not yield to you when he or she should, let the other driver go first.