The Four Way Stop

Approaching another cross road in life, I know it’s a cliché. We all reach them, we all have to deal with them and sometimes we don’t know when to go. You can really tell a lot about a person at a four way stop, especially if four vehicles arrive at the same time.

Some people wave everyone on proving one of two things. Either this person doesn’t really have to be anywhere. Or, they’re just so damn polite they yield to everyone.

Sometimes a person gets confused or they don’t pay attention when approaching a four-way stop. Either way they still have to know what to do. If they don’t, they will let everyone go just to save embarrassment.  

Then of course there’s the person that believes they should go first, no matter what. “Screw them all, I’m going, they’ll still be sitting there for another 10 minutes trying to figure out what to do!”

We also have the jigger bug, they approach everything cautiously. Pumping the brakes way too soon and inching their way up then stopping, inching a little more and stopping. Distraught and confused they just wave everyone one through showing their complete lack of confidence in the situation.

Another personality is the drifter. This person likes to approach any situation slowly. They press on their brakes way too soon coasting into the four way stop. In most cases they’re actually the first to arrive, but it takes so long for them to get to the line it causes confusion for everyone else.

Don’t forget the yield to the right guy. This person truly believes you are supposed to yield to the car on the right. But what if there are no cars at the four way stop. Do you wait for another vehicle to arrive? How can they move forward without first having the opportunity to yield? I guess they just wait until someone else arrives.

The two characters left are the live and die by the rotation of the earth and the movement of the sun people. First we have a person that thinks each car should take a turn in clockwise rotation order. Of course by the time everyone figures that out, more cars have arrived at the intersection. How should they handle the four way stop? Do they continue using the clockwise rule or do they go back to the first to arrive, the first to go rule.

The other earth clock disciples are completely opposite of their brethren. They believe the correct order is counter clockwise. This is really confusing when there are both types at a four way stop.

Most of us were taught how to drive many years ago. Trying to remember all the rules and proper procedures is difficult. That’s why we have signs telling us how fast we can go and warning us if there’s a curve in the road. But sometimes when we’re unsure we take the liberty to make up the rules as we go.

We do our best, using our intellect and experiences to handle all driving situations. But sometimes we just look like complete asses. Next time you approach a four way stop check out the other drivers and watch what they do.

Oh, by the way the rule is; first to arrive – first to go. That’s it.


Stephanie Faris January 27, 2010 at 1:31 PM  

Great analogy! 4-way stops are kinda stressful when you think about it. All too often I'm the person who forgot to pay attention to whose turn it is!