The 4-way-stop Conundrum

Credit: MSVG/

I find it a bit shocking that I’ve yet to tackle this very real, very important aspect of driving: the 4-way stop.

Perhaps it’s only become apparent in the past few days when temperatures have dropped well below -30 degrees Celsius. For those of you who don’t know how that feels… First: fuck screw you; second: Being out in that kind of weather is probably how a baby feels when it’s first born — shocked, confused, horribly disorientated and bloody freezing.

When the temperatures drop to such extremes, so too do our driving skills apparently. All anyone wants to do is get home and get warm. Drivers seem to ignore the simplest things on the road like double-yellow lines and stop signs. Because, clearly, those are just too much to deal with when your fingers are freezing to the steering wheel.

Or, perhaps it’s just that I’ve become more aware of the situation this particular week and I’ll notice the same thing when the temperature climbs to a blissful +30 degrees Celsius this summer (I actually forget what it’s like to be that warm).

Regardless, there are some drivers who clearly don’t know the inner-workings of a 4-way stop. So today, oh faithful reader, we’re going to have a bit of a lesson on how said stop works — just in case you were wondering.

  • A 4-way stop means that all 4 of you must stop. I know, shocking. Hence the name of the whole ordeal. It does not mean one of you can slide through, unnoticed while the rest of us stop obediently.
  • If you all happen to stop at the same time, it only takes one to get the ball rolling. This is, perhaps, the most aggravating thing. This is where I see the lack of balls confidence most drivers posess — and I’m just as guilty sometimes. As we all creep/inch forward trying to decide who goes first, by the time we decide we’ve all basically met in the middle of the intersection and we’re all screwed.
  • For the love of God, use your signal. In the event of 4 cars stopping at a 4-way stop (because, believe it or not it does happen) and you wish to turn across traffic (and therefore one of the cars at the intersection) use your fucking turn signal. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been honked at because I’m going straight and so I take off from the stop sign only to be met with the nose of the oncoming car who’s turning, sans turn signal. So I get honked at. Um, excuse me? From your lack fo common sense, curteousy and general intelligence you seemed to be going straight, so honk at me all you want but you’re the douche. Using your signal avoids such a catastrophe and keeps your quiet suburban streets horn-honk free.
  • In all honesty, there’s not much more to say on the subject. And that’s also why I find it so shocking that so few people seem to grasp the concept of the 4-way stop — because really, oh faithful reader, it’s not rocket science.

    Or maybe it is?

    Drive on,
    – M.

    ~ by drivingmsmiranda on January 26, 2011.

    5 Responses to “The 4-way-stop Conundrum”

    1. Also, is it right to say that when you arrive at a stop at the same time as another driver, the driver on the right should have priority? Is this common knowledge?

    2. Hey Jay-F,

      Yes, totally correct! I forgot to mention that one! It is common knowledge (or at least it should be). However, in Quebec, it seems to be whoever can leave the stop the fastest …

      Drive on,
      – M.

    3. Yo Miranda!

      Such language from a Canadian! I am shocked!!! 😉

      Lovely and relevant post. I am faced with a similar dilemna every day when leaving the parking lot to go home. Thankfully, I’m usually not too shy with the gas, so I rarely have a problem.

      Stay warm!


      PS… Nice use of the word “douche”! I guess it really is making a comeback. Woohoo!

    4. Hey G-LO,

      Thanks for checking in!!

      And I think the cold brings out the worst in me … seems my foul mouth has upset a few people already. Oopsies. When it gets warmer again, I promise to be all prim and proper again. 😉

      Good on you for taking initiative at the 4-way! It’s the only way to get ‘er done!!

      Drive on,
      – M.

    5. No no! Ballsy and somewhat profane is good. You’re a woman that reviews cars for Chrissakes! Show those boys how it’s done. 🙂

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    %d bloggers like this: