Skip to Content

50% Of People Answered This Question Wrong – Can You Get It Right?

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.

Right of Way Rules

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.

Remember, First to Stop, First to Go!


Wednesday 20th of May 2015

Your example is of a 4 way stop and is correct, however when at a 2 way stop it's different. The person turning left at the 2 way stop should yeild to the other car turning right or going straight. Which I read your example as being at a 2 way stop, not 4 way.


Wednesday 20th of May 2015

This is such a serious problem where I live! Our city decided to remove over half our stop lights a few years back and replace them with four way stops in order to save thousands of dollars each year. All should have been well and good, but very few people obey the signs or have a clue what they are supposed to do even though it has been published in our newspaper several times now. I'm not sure why it's so difficult or why so many people have different ideas of what the laws are when it comes to a stop sign.

Maria D.

Wednesday 13th of May 2015

Amazing how many people don't remember the traffic laws they had to learn to pass their driving test - I think it would be a good idea to have a "refresher" quiz or class every couple of years as a requirement of being able to renew your license...would probably lead to less accidents

russell judeika

Wednesday 13th of May 2015

the driver coming from the left always has the right of way

Kathleen S.

Wednesday 13th of May 2015

I sometimes dread 4 way stops! People just go whenever. It's my turn to go and the person on my left thinks it's their turn, even though I've arrived to the 4 way before them. It's yield to the car on the right.