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Stop Sign Etiquette

It should go without saying, stop signs are used to control traffic. Since moving to Southern California, I have noticed that people do not know proper stop sign etiquette. Case in point, I was driving to work this morning in Ladera Ranch. The woman who stopped at the stop sign to my right stopped first. So, it was her turn to go and then it was mine. However, the car behind her decided to make his turn without stopping at the stop sign. Working for an accident attorney, I learn more and more about the rules of the road. If you are suffering from injuries due to someone running a stop sign, contact a car accident attorney in our office. Consultations are free!

Car Accident Attorney | Stop Sign Etiquette

Stop signs are used to instruct drivers of the right-of-way rules. When you see a stop sign at the corner of any intersection, it is usually clear that you need to stop. Today, we are going to go over some stop sign etiquette and laws.

Allowing Adequate Time & Distance

One of the most important things to do when approaching a stop sign is to allow yourself enough time and distance to stop. The adequate time and distance are not an exact science and will depend greatly on a number of factors. These include speed, the weather, physical conditions of the road, other cars, etc. However, best case scenario is to stop at least 150 feet before the stop sign. If you are speeding or the weather and road conditions are not idea, our accident attorney advises that you leave a little more room.

Stop Completely

Now, living in California, we are all familiar with the infamous California roll. I am not talking about sushi, but about when people slow to a roll when they are at a stop sign and do not actually come to a complete stop. However, when you come to a stop sign, it is customary to come to a complete stop. Accident attorneys highly recommend that you do not slow down or even pause for a second. This is because you can miss seeing something important, like another car having the right-of-way or there is a pedestrian trying to cross the street.

  • try not to slam on your brakes when coming upon a stop sign
  • if there is a solid white bar or crosswalk painted across the intersection, do not block it
  • if you cannot see around the intersection, slowly pull forward until you can see around the corner
  • when you see another vehicle stopped at the stop sign in front of you, you must first stop behind the car, then come to another complete stop at the stop sign when the car in front of you moves ahead

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Recognize Intersections

Stop signs are used for several different intersections, and there are different traffic rules enforced at each. Below, we go through what kind of stop you are approaching so that you know what rules to follow.

  • a two-way is used when two roads intersect, but traffic on only road is required to stop
  • four-way or all-way stops are used when two roads intersect and traffic is moving in all directions and must stop at the intersection
  • a T-junction is when one road dead-ends into another
    • this is usually perpendicular to the other road (forming a shape that resembles the letter “T”
    • T-junctions may have three-way stops in which traffic moving in all directions must stop at the intersection
  • many stop signs will have a smaller sign below the red octagon indicating if the stop is a four-way, three-way, etc

Pay Attention to Traffic

Even after you stop, make sure you are paying attention to oncoming traffic. For instance, you are required to allow any traffic that is moving across your path to go by you first. If there is no traffic, you are free to move through the intersection. Moving across the intersection at a reasonable speed and trying to avoid crossing when traffic is dangerously close to an intersection is important to safety.

Make sure you are only crossing the intersection if traffic is a safe distance away. Our car accident attorney suggests that you use your best judgement when it comes to discerning what a reasonable speed is to be safe. Traffic on the road is not limited to cars; it includes bicyclists, motorcycles, big-rigs, etc.

Obey the Right-of-Way

I cannot stress this enough, make sure you are obeying the right-of-way laws at stop signs. For instance, if there is already another vehicle (car, motorcycle, etc.) at the stop sign when you come to your stop, you are required to let it proceed first. Whether the car is turning, going straight, allow that vehicle to go by before you proceed through the intersection.

Injured? Contact an Accident Attorney!

If you have been injured because someone did not adhere to the rules of the road, you have rights. Contact an accident attorney in our office to discuss your case. Silverthorne Attorneys believes that everyone who is suffering from injuries due to the negligent actions of another deserves the best representation.

We will never back down when it comes to insurance adjusters and their bullying ways. Contact us today to discuss your case. Consultations with a car accent attorney at Silverthorne Attorneys are free!

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