How The Four-Way Stop Sign Is Supposed To Work
How many times have you come to a complete stop at a four-way stop sign, waited patiently for your turn, and realized nobody else knows what they're doing? It's an all-to-common tale, which is mind-blowing since the instructions are so stupid-simple.
In the event you reach a four-way stop at the same time as another driver, the person to your right goes first. That's how it's been taught since before the put up the blinking traffic lights in downtown hundreds of years ago. The result of your four-way visit is then dependent on the drivers you encounter. Of which, there are four types of people that end up at these intersections, lets review.
One - The Choking Driver
The choking driver is the person that slowly arrives at the intersection, and instead of going ahead when it comes to their turn, they freeze and end up getting skipped. It is 100% your own responsibility to ensure the flow of traffic isn't upset, and 100% on you not to get mad when someone realizes you have no idea what you're doing and skips you.
Two - The California Driver
I'm gonna go out on a really stout limb here and say you've probably encountered a person at an intersection before that was supposed to stop, but rolled through, skipped the line, and tossed a wrench in the well-oiled stop sign machine. These are called California drivers because the most non-gender-specific derogatory slight you can put on a person is to call it "Californian." You've probably heard of the California lane change? This is right up there and perfectly describes people that can't drive.
Three - The Too-Polite Driver
This is the annoying person that chooses to skip their turn to let another person go instead out of politeness. They don't see anything wrong with it since it's ultimately them that catch the consequences in their own mind. Let me put this in caps... YOU'RE NOT BEING POLITE, YOU'RE WRECKING THE FLOW OF TRAFFIC FOR EVERYONE ELSE. Thanks to this driver, not only do you now have to establish a new order of rotation, the person behind El Politeness has also lost a turn to continue on their way.
Four - The Traffic Director
On the flip side of being too polite, there's the driver that thinks they know it all, and all other drivers should obey their will. You know who I'm talking about, the person that starts waving their hands and pointing at people to go, all the while making things complicated for everyone else. I have a cousin that does this. I'm not sure if she's just that narcissistic or if it's just a deep-seated traffic code fetish. Either way, you don't want to be like that.
The four-way intersection shouldn't be so complicated. Wait your turn, don't give it to anyone else. If a too-polite person gives you their turn, refuse it just to force proper traffic code on them. It's a gutsy move, but if a California Driver starts to roll into the intersection, do the same. Odds are, they'll slam on the brakes and be upset until they reach their destination. If you encounter a Traffic Director, just stop in the middle of the intersection and look confused. If we upset the trend of bad drivers enough, people might actually get better at driving. It's not trolling, it's teaching.