How Do Three-Way and Four-Way Stop Signs Work?

If you are injured by a negligent driver at an intersection with a three-way or four-way stop sign, schedule a no-cost, no-obligation legal consultation as quickly as possible to discuss your rights and options with an Orange County car accident attorney.

Intersections with three-way and four-way stops are a frequent setting for traffic collisions because so many California motorists have difficulty determining who has the right-of-way. What are the right-of-way rules at intersections with three-way and four-way stop signs?

And what are your rights if another driver injures you at one of these intersections? What can an Orange County traffic accident lawyer do on your behalf if you’ve been injured by a negligent driver? Keep reading for the answers you may need.

What Are the Rules at a Four-Way Stop?

These are the rules for who has the right-of-way at four-way stops in California:

  1. Drivers should go through an intersection in the same order they reach it. The motorist who arrives at the intersection first has the right-of-way. Then the driver who arrived next should go after the first motorist, and drivers should continue to cross in that manner.
  2. Vehicles going through an intersection have the right-of-way over those that are making turns. When two vehicles are moving in opposing directions and reach a four-way stop simultaneously, right-of-way is not a concern unless at least one motorist is turning.
  3. When two vehicles that are traveling on cross-streets arrive at an intersection simultaneously, the vehicle that is on the right has the right-of-way. This rule also applies when three vehicles arrive at an intersection simultaneously.
  4. However, when four vehicles arrive at an intersection simultaneously, or when traffic is heavy, motorists must take turns as they enter the intersection. The vehicles moving west and east must take turns with the vehicles moving north and south, for example.

What Else Should You Know About Four-Way Stops?

A California driver at a four-way stop also must:

  1. Yield to any pedestrians who are in a crosswalk.
  2. Yield if a police vehicle or another emergency vehicle approaches the four-way stop.
  3. Yield to buses and postal vehicles that may enter the intersection after making a stop.
  4. Yield to bicycles, scooters, or mopeds that may enter the intersection.
  5. Yield when not yielding could cause an accident.

What Should You Know About Three-Way Stops?

At three-way intersections with no stop or yield signs or traffic lights, the vehicle on the street that dead-ends must yield to the vehicles on the street that does not dead-end.

At three-way intersections that have stop signs, when vehicles reach the intersection simultaneously, vehicles that are on the left must yield to vehicles that are on the right.

If the Signal Isn’t Working

When a traffic light is out or a light isn’t working properly, you must stop before you enter the intersection and wait until it’s safe to move through. At four-way intersections, if two vehicles arrive simultaneously, the one on the right should proceed through the intersection first.

At three-way intersections with defective traffic signals, if two vehicles arrive simultaneously, the vehicle on the road that ends must yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the road that doesn’t end.

Are There Other Right-of-Way Rules?

At an intersection where no crosswalk has been marked, pedestrians must yield to any traffic. Pedestrians are obligated to watch for their own safety, not to cross in a dangerous or negligent manner, and not to stop or obstruct traffic. Pedestrians and drivers both must exercise “due care.”

When either pedestrians or drivers try to enter or cross a street from a spot that isn’t a street – a driveway, alley, parking lot, shoulder, or an open field – those pedestrians or drivers should yield to any oncoming traffic until it’s safe to cross or enter the street.

When Should You Contact a Car and Truck Accident Attorney?

A failure to yield when the law requires you to yield constitutes negligent driving. If you’re injured in a crash with a motorist who violated your right of way, after you’ve been examined and treated for your injury, call the offices of an Orange County car accident attorney at once.

Your attorney will investigate how the accident happened and determine if you have legal grounds for bringing a personal injury claim. If you move forward with a claim, your attorney will negotiate for compensation to cover your lost wages, medical expenses, and related losses.

Most injury claims are settled out of court, and most personal injury victims do not even have to make a court appearance. However, if liability for the accident is disputed, or if no reasonable settlement offer is forthcoming, your attorney will take your claim to trial.

What Happens At a Personal Injury Trial?

If your own personal injury case goes to trial, your Orange County traffic accident lawyer will explain to a jury how and to what extent you were injured. Your lawyer will then explain to the jurors why they should find in your favor and order the payment of your compensation.

California’s statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim based on a traffic accident is two years. Don’t wait for two years, however, or even two weeks to speak with an attorney. Evidence deteriorates, and the memories of witnesses fade over time.

As soon as you’ve been examined and treated for your injury by a medical provider, contact a personal injury attorney in Orange County, and put that attorney on your case at once.

Why Should You Choose Gibson & Hughes?

When you’re injured because another person was negligent, you need a champion: someone who will answer your legal questions, fight for justice on your behalf, and hold the liable party or parties accountable.

Gibson & Hughes represents clients throughout Southern California. If you are injured in a car, bus, or truck accident, your personal, medical, and financial challenges may seem overwhelming, but we can help. We will help you get your life back on track after a serious accident and injury.

Gibson & Hughes handles personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis, so your first legal consultation is offered with no cost or obligation, and if you decide to move forward with legal action, you pay no attorney’s fee until and unless Gibson & Hughes recovers your compensation.

If you are injured by a negligent driver at a three-way stop, a four-way stop, or in any other traffic situation in Southern California, call Gibson & Hughes at (714) 547-8377, and put the law to work for you.