question on a particular driving scenario - your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by tygab, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. tygab

    tygab Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2008
    MA/NH border
    Hi all,

    I'll preface this by stating I've been driving for 20 yrs or so, have not to date been involved in any accidents w/anyone else (I did slide off a snowy road once in Maine many years ago), and have a clean history [best way to keep ins costs down!]. So, I am an attentive driver.

    Near our new little farm home is an intersection. One way does not have any stop and is fairly busy, at commuting hours anyway. The cross street has a flashing yellow light and stop signs on either side. I almost ALWAYS go straight across this road to get to/from home, and often there are cars at both sides, and the opposite side driver is turning left.

    So, who has the right of way? Me, who wants to go straight across, or the person who has to turn left into traffic? Does it matter who got there first (if known)?

    I have had more than once had unexpected interactions with other drivers, sometimes I've been the upset one - sometimes the other person... This morning, I clearly upset the other person who wanted to turn left. It's difficult because both starting from stopped means we step on the gas to do what we think we ought to be.

    I don't like this intersection anyway (it's hard to see if cars are coming around the bending cross street) and think it should have a four way stop. It would be safer for cyclists too (but at least less busy during weekends).

    Thanks!
     
  2. Crunchie

    Crunchie Brook Valley Farm

    Mar 1, 2007
    Maryland
    The person going straight through has the right-of-way.
     
  3. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    If I understand what you are saying correctly you are saying that you and another driver arrive at the intersection facing each other? You want to go straight across and the other driver wants to turn left, therefore crossing in front of you? You both have a stop sign?


    In the above scenario the driver who arrives first has the right of way. If you get there at the same time then one of you should be courteous and wave the other through first. (At least that's what I do - I always wave the other person through and wait for them.)

    If I'm wrong (and I could be since I haven't read up on this in about 30 years) here someone with correct laws can set me straight.
     
  4. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2007
    Maine
    Oh! One of my biggest pet peeves are people who don't follow the rules at a 4 way stop! [​IMG]


    The driver who arrives first has the right of way, no matter which way they are turning. If you both make it at the intersection at the same time, the person going straight has the right of way.
     
  5. tygab

    tygab Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2008
    MA/NH border
    If I understand what you are saying correctly you are saying that you and another driver arrive at the intersection facing each other? You want to go straight across and the other driver wants to turn left, therefore crossing in front of you? You both have a stop sign?

    yes, that's right. we both have stop signs and are facing each other. I want to go straight across the sometimes busy road, the other driver wants to turn left into the sometimes busy road. [If they want to go right or straight, there's no issue] I often do not know who got there first, since it's uphill for me to get to the stop etc. I'm really amazed there isn't just a 4 way stop there since that would be far more understandable to all. And while it would slow down cross traffic, it certainly would be safer than either stopped driver trying to dart through/into traffic.

    I have assumed like what Crunchie said, that I have the right of way because I am going straight, and that any left turn driver needs to make sure ALL obstacles are clear, including opposing traffic.​
     
  6. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Overrun With Chickens

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    Austin area, Texas
    If you both have stop signs, the person who arrives first goes first, even if they are making a left turn. That means you yeild if they are first, if you don't and there is an accident, you are liable.
     
  7. Crunchie

    Crunchie Brook Valley Farm

    Mar 1, 2007
    Maryland
    I answered assuming that you were both there at the same time. If so, straight has the right-of-way....if one arrives first, but you both have to sit and wait for a break in the traffic I think (and could be totally wrong, so don't take my word for it [​IMG]) that the person going straight still has the right-of-way.

    I wonder if there's someplace online to look up the official rule in your state?
     
  8. tygab

    tygab Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2008
    MA/NH border
    Yes, I'm looking/have looked and what's online is astoundingly poor. There is not an example of this I can find.

    In most cases *both* parties will have to wait until there is a break in traffic, so the question is who goes first if I don't know who got there first. From what I gather by the responses here, the consensus is that there is no real distinction between turning left and crossing this road.

    So, if I do know the other driver got there first they they should go - ok.
    If I don't know, I should assume they got there first, and let them turn left.
    And if I clearly got there first, I should cross.

    Yes?
     
  9. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    Since your visibility is poor, and left turns are more difficult, I would be courteous and wait for the opposing vehicle to turn left. However, technically it is the first person getting to the stop that has the right-of-way.
     
  10. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    My "day job" is a road designer. Consult your State's driving guide. Believe it or not, roadway rules like that are not standardized across the US. I used to live in the City of Seattle which even had it's own rules which contradicted State law. Clear as mud!
     

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