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Who has the right of way at a four-way stop in Virginia?

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2023 | Traffic Violations

As you travel along Virginia’s roadways, you may occasionally encounter a four-way stop intersection. These crossroads feature a stop sign at each corner, which may confuse you as you navigate a left or right turn.

Colonial Driving School reports that most crashes happen at four-way stops in Virginia because drivers hesitate or more than one driver decides to proceed through the intersection at the wrong time. However, you can avoid an accident by reviewing a few simple rules related to such a situation.

Driver approach decides the right of way

If you approach a four-way stop and other vehicles have not yet reached the intersection, then you have the right of way. Look in all four directions before you proceed to ensure no other vehicles arrived at the intersection. If both you and another driver reach the intersection at the same time, the position of the vehicle determines who has the right of way.

Rules for left and right turns

If you and other drivers all approach a Virginia intersection at the same time, the driver on your right has the right of way, even if he or she wants to make a turn. If you and the driver facing you do not plan to turn, you may proceed at the same time. Any car sitting to your left is last in line and must yield if you both reached the intersection at the same time.

Use caution with wave-through communication

Drivers unfamiliar with Virginia four-way stop laws may try to wave you clear at an intersection, but this may cause an accident if another driver knows he or she has the right of way.

Remaining alert at Virginia intersections and reviewing these laws can help prevent serious injury and property damage.