Here’s The Right Way to Treat a 4-Way Stop in Minnesota
"Minnesotans are the worst drivers!"
It's a sentiment I hear often from Minnesota drivers regarding their fellow motorists on the roads. Of course, the ones making the accusations are never in the wrong themselves...But I'd like to take a moment -- as an Illinoian and therefore completely objective on the matter -- to confirm, yes, Minnesotans are awful drivers!
One of the worst driving offenses I've seen in Minnesota -- remember, I'm speaking as someone who grew up and took his driver's ed in Illinois, so I can say this with clear conscience -- is the four-way stop.
Back in my day as a young bean growing up in the farm fields of Illinois, my Driver's Ed course taught that when you approach a four-way stop at the same time as another driver, you defer to the person who arrived there first and then work clockwise. If four people arrived at all four stops at the same time, you make eye contact with them to determine who will go first, and then proceed to follow the clockwise rule. Four-ways were orderly and organized in Illinois.
Not so in Minnesota! Four-way stops in Minnesota are like the classic 80's arcade game Frogger, except instead of crossing lanes one tries to cross through an intersection unscathed.
Am I exaggerating? Perhaps.
And yet, for the sake of the little frog in each of us that just wants to cross the intersection safely and efficiently, I offer you -- in part -- the 2018 Minnesota Statutes 169.20 regarding Right-Of-Way:
Subdivision 1.Approaching intersection.
(a) When two vehicles enter an uncontrolled intersection from different highways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.
(b) When two vehicles enter an intersection controlled by stop signs or by blinking red traffic signals requiring drivers or vehicles from any direction to stop before proceeding, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.
Subd. 2.Left turn.
The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.
There you have it: a friendly reminder to think "clockwise" next time you find yourself at an intersection. We can figure this out! I mean, you can figure this out (remember, I'm speaking entirely as an Illinoisan with no bias or opinion whatsoever on this matter).
Good luck out there!
Full Disclosure: This article is satire. The laws and regulations, in particularly the 2018 Minnesota Statutes, however, are not.
Also, Frogger was a bomb game to play as a kid.