Can we talk for a minute about four-way stops?

In my travels, I have come across many a four-way stop. In fact, in any given day, I probably stop at six four-way stops. I used to not mind these things. You pull up, you stop, you wait your turn, you go. Simple, easy, quick. Right?


In this past year, I have come across more four-way stops than ever. I drive to and from campus everyday, and my preferred route is littered with them. I have come to hate these stupid traffic stops with a passion. Why, you ask?

Because this is what happens:

You pull up and come to a complete stop. You notice another car to your left. You're not sure who was there first. He's not either. You look at each other for a long time -- a time that seems like hours. You both decide to end the charade and start to pull out. You notice the other is moving and stop to let them pass. He does the same. You continue this lurching dance for what seems like a year.

You motion for him to go, he does the same.

You sigh.

At any given four-way stop, you can easily spend two minutes in this awkward game of "You go, I go." It's ridiculous. I hate it.

Sorry for the lame post.

Oh, and a very happy birthday to Sir Alec Guinness. He would have been 93.


  1. Someone isn't an aggressive driver, apparently.

    Really, you should NEVER motion for someone to go ahead of you. And once they've motioned you, you TAKE that opening. Honestly.

  2. Etiquette says that if there's any scruple over who got there first, the guy on the right goes. This will take care of the problem half of the time.

    Other than that, Jeff's right. Be assertive. Niceness can only go so far before it's just annoying, as you're apparently observing. There comes a certain point where it's okay to be a jerk.

  3. Or, you can go with the ultra nice guy (read: massive pussy) strategy, which says that you just don't move at all until they go.

    Obviously, this creates issues if two people like this are ever driving simultaneously, but most of the time one of the people will be the jerky dance type and will go if you show no signs of movement.

    It never failed me while I still drove regularly. Assertiveness is overrated :P


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