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    Flute09's Avatar
    Flute09 Posts: 12, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Oct 6, 2008, 01:40 PM
    Right of Way, Driving
    I'm driving down the road and come to a stop sign. I stop and put my turn signal on to show that I want to turn left onto the main road.
    A few seconds later, a car comes up to a stop sign across from me on the other side of the road. He wants to go straight across the road. He got there a few seconds after I had already stopped.
    After looking both ways, I begin to make the turn; however, at the same time, he begins to go straight, driving right into my path. I swerve and avoid hitting him, but now he says he had the right of way, because he was going straight. I say it doesn't matter which way we're going, because I got to the sign first; I had the right of way. If we had both arrived at the same time, he would have had the right of way.

    Who's right?
    spitvenom's Avatar
    spitvenom Posts: 1,266, Reputation: 373
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    #2

    Oct 6, 2008, 01:43 PM

    I always assume straight has the right away. Even if I pull up to a stop sign first I usually let the person going straight go first. Simply because the person going straight has in their mind I am going straight I have the right of way.
    Flute09's Avatar
    Flute09 Posts: 12, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Oct 6, 2008, 01:47 PM
    Comment on spitvenom's post
    Not accurate
    Flute09's Avatar
    Flute09 Posts: 12, Reputation: 1
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    #4

    Oct 6, 2008, 01:49 PM

    Sorry, spitvenom, that was my friend who said your answer was not accurate. I really do value your opinion. Thanks for helping me out!
    Depressed in MO's Avatar
    Depressed in MO Posts: 571, Reputation: 94
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    #5

    Oct 6, 2008, 01:50 PM
    Where I'm from, if you are at a stop LIGHT, regardless of who gets there first, the person going straight has the right of way. If you are at a stop SIGN, the person who stops first has the right of way-regardless of which direction they are going.
    smearcase's Avatar
    smearcase Posts: 2,392, Reputation: 316
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    #6

    Oct 6, 2008, 05:06 PM

    I scoured the Missouri DMV rules and examples but could not duplicate the conditions you describe.
    I believe the vehicle that is turning has to yield the right-of-way. If both vehicles were continuing straight across, there is no rule about who goes first (I realize it doesn't matter) so the straight through guy has equal right to proceed and left turns must always yield to straight through.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,301, Reputation: 7691
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    #7

    Oct 6, 2008, 06:05 PM

    Ok, two cars, the one at stop SIGN first has the right of way.

    My question is why did you sit there the entire time he was stoping and seconds latter.

    Most likely they thought you were waiting on them or something, since you did not move out sooner.

    But the first person to a stop sign has the right of way.

    At a stop light, then the person turning has to wait for the person going straight
    Depressed in MO's Avatar
    Depressed in MO Posts: 571, Reputation: 94
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    #8

    Oct 7, 2008, 05:59 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by smearcase View Post
    I scoured the Missouri DMV rules and examples but could not duplicate the conditions you describe.
    I believe the vehicle that is turning has to yield the right-of-way. If both vehicles were continuing straight across, there is no rule about who goes first (I realize it doesn't matter) so the straight thru guy has equal right to proceed and left turns must always yield to straight thru.
    Yes, like I said, if you are at a stop SIGN-whoever gets to the stop SIGN first, has the right of way-regardless of which way they are going. If you are at a stop LIGHT-then the person who is going straight forward goes first.
    spitvenom's Avatar
    spitvenom Posts: 1,266, Reputation: 373
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    #9

    Oct 7, 2008, 06:56 AM

    Oh I agree the person who gets to the stop sign first has the right of way. But I always let the person going straight go first. It's just my driving habit.

    Flute don't worry about it I don't pay attention to greenies and red things :)
    Flute09's Avatar
    Flute09 Posts: 12, Reputation: 1
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    #10

    Oct 9, 2008, 12:09 PM

    By the way, the reason I sat so long at the sign was because I was waiting for cross traffic to clear. Once I had looked both ways several times, I then made my turn.

    Does anyone know how I can edit my question to add things?
    cntrlof1sdestny's Avatar
    cntrlof1sdestny Posts: 8, Reputation: 2
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    #11

    Oct 15, 2008, 10:12 AM

    I am from Missouri as well. Here's how it is:
    If 2 cars pull to stop signs at same time, regardless of where they are going, the person to the right has the right-of way ALWAYS.
    Depressed in MO's Avatar
    Depressed in MO Posts: 571, Reputation: 94
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    #12

    Oct 15, 2008, 10:16 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by cntrlof1sdestny View Post
    i am from Missouri as well. here's how it is:
    if 2 cars pull to stop signs at same time, regardless of where they are going, the person to the right has the right-of way ALWAYS.
    I agree with this. But, whoever pulls up at a stop Sign FIRST, has the right of way. It's a different story if they pull up at the same time.
    cntrlof1sdestny's Avatar
    cntrlof1sdestny Posts: 8, Reputation: 2
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    #13

    Oct 15, 2008, 10:16 AM

    Yes, this is correct.
    cocoa277's Avatar
    cocoa277 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #14

    Jul 28, 2010, 08:22 PM
    Wrong wrong wrong. The right of way going to the first person at the intersection is for all way stops. Here we have a main road and two side streets with stop signs. That rule doesn't apply here. Since traffic kept both cars on the side steet, they are basically starting fresh once traffic clears. The person going straight or turning right would have the right of way. You must always yield if you turn left - in any situation.
    kryostar's Avatar
    kryostar Posts: 108, Reputation: 11
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    #15

    Aug 3, 2010, 11:44 PM

    Yes at same time person on the right has right of way, but what about opposing cars at the same time?
    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #16

    Aug 29, 2010, 06:52 PM

    I think you're missing what you actually did wrong here. You write that you stopped at the sign, then turned on your left turn signal. This caused the problem.

    You have to signal no less than 100 feet before your turn. Because you did not signal on a timely basis, he did not know you were turning - he thought you were going straight. And because he thought you were going straight, and you were going opposite directions from one another, he thought he could go simultaneous to you because you were not going to go in one another's paths. But then you surprised him by turning into his path. Even if you're in a turn lane you have to signal as the other drivers may not be able to see from their vantage that you are in a turn lane.

    As for who goes first at a multi-directional stop, it's the person who stops first, and if you stop simultaneously, it's the person to the right. If you are across from each other though, it's hard to say who's to the right. You're both the same direction from one another, in which case you both are responsible for proceeding cautiously to avoid an accident, one yielding to the other.

    The other points here are valid too if there were no stop signs on the main road. If it was a four-way stop though, these points do not apply.
    smearcase's Avatar
    smearcase Posts: 2,392, Reputation: 316
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    #17

    Aug 29, 2010, 08:21 PM

    I searched again. Mostly what I get is offers to buy insurance or hire attorneys.

    Each state makes their own vehicle laws. Some are coerced into certain requirements to obtain their Federal funding.

    The only way you can resolve this is to find the law in the Missouri vehicle law. Maybe the library has a copy.

    One comparison I did find on another site was what happens if power is off and a signal is not working. Some states put out press releases in bad weather advising drivers that if power is off, the normally signalized intersection is to be treated as a 4way stop.
    If you arrived at a dead signal, I think you would yield when turning left regardless of who came first. That's not much but it is all I could find.
    Yielding when turning left is a basic traffic rule. If you did find a law saying that the first vehicle rule supercedes the yield when turning left law, would you then turn left in front of the other vehicle because you are sure of the law? No. You might get injured or killed and you might have a big hassle and tickets and court time.
    If you can't find a clear written vehicle code stipulation, you could hire a lawyer to research it for you. Yeah, right!
    Even if you did that and he/she said the first car had the ROW, how to educate the rest of the drivers?
    I worked for a state highway agency building roads with some (not much) traffic engineering experience. I know-- that state considered 4 way stops to be more efficeient than I expected they would think. But, when traffic increased to the point where several cars were lined up in most directions regularly and many were left turners, the intersection very quickly met the warrants for a signal installation.
    Personally, I wait for the other straight through guy and in most cases they wave me through.
    You might try your state highway traffic engineer. I am sure they are aware of the problem and may at least give you a code reference if there is one.
    ebaines's Avatar
    ebaines Posts: 12,130, Reputation: 1307
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    #18

    Aug 31, 2010, 10:08 AM

    This is an interesting question. My first reaction was that I thought the first person to reach the intersection and stop has the right-of-way, but I now believe that Smearcase and Cocoa277 have it right - this only applies at a 4-way stop intersection. The car going straight at an intersection that is not a 4-way stop has the right-of-way. Here's what the Illinois traffic guide has to say:

    A driver must yield "when more than one driver reaches a four-way stop intersection. The first driver to stop should be the first to go. When two vehicles on different roadways arrive at a four-way stop intersection at the same time, the vehicle on the left should yield to the vehicle on the right."

    Note that this only applies to 4-way stops.

    The guide also says a driver must yield "to oncoming traffic when making a left-hand turn."

    From this I conclude that for the situation described in this thread the car going straight across has the right-of-way, as it was not a 4-way stop intersection. I realize this is Illinois's guide, not Missouri's, but I'd be surprised if the basic rules for traffic right-of-way vary from state to state.
    smearcase's Avatar
    smearcase Posts: 2,392, Reputation: 316
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    #19

    Aug 31, 2010, 11:45 AM

    ebaines has found a good path to the answer which is more than I could do.
    And I agree that these basic rules govern in at least the majority of states.
    Unfortunately, the two drivers may be going through the process that this question went through here and that's a lot to do in about 5 seconds or so.
    This is an instance where eye contact and cooperation (one waving the other on, hopefully not into the path of a vehicle on the cross street !) are valuable tools. Most (I know) drivers handle these circumstances in a courteous manner in my experience. If you encounter one of the other types, wave them on and get rid of the risks they cause others all the time.
    bendingleconte's Avatar
    bendingleconte Posts: 112, Reputation: 9
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    #20

    Aug 31, 2010, 03:25 PM

    The problem with right-of-ways is that ALL parties have to know then and follow them. If this happens again, we will know the right-of-way and some idiot will still almost run us over. :(

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