4-Way Stop Rules

Jan 10

Right-of-way laws in Indiana are intended to ensure the safety of all drivers and pedestrians. Many auto accidents happen because people don’t understand the right-of-way laws, including the 4-way stop rules. Learn more below about the 4-way stop rules in Indiana and related traffic rule information. If you were in a car accident because of someone’s negligence, speak to one of our Indiana car accident attorneys today.


Common Misunderstandings About Indiana Right-Of-Way Laws

A common misunderstanding about right-of-way laws in the state is related to pedestrians and bicyclists. Most of us know that pedestrians and bicyclists must adhere to the road’s right-of-way laws. They can get a ticket for jaywalking or crossing against a traffic light. Even if a pedestrian or biker was partially at fault for an accident, you could still be sued in civil court for damages incurred by the other party. That’s why it’s best to yield right of way when you’re in doubt at a four-way stop or any other situation on the road.


Four-Way Stop Rules

If you come to an intersection with a four-way stop and don’t know who should go first, the first thing to remember is to come to a full stop, look for traffic, and proceed if no one is coming.

When there are other vehicles at the intersection, the rule in Indiana is that the first vehicle to arrive at the intersection gets the right of way. But if more than one car gets there simultaneously, then the right of way is for the vehicle on the right. If you are unsure, let the other car go first; it’s better to be safe and yield than get into a car accident.


Right Of Way For Emergency Vehicles

You must remember that an emergency vehicle with its flashers and sirens on has the right of way in virtually every situation. Even if the police or emergency vehicle has a stop sign or red light, you must usually yield.

If you’re sharing a lane with a police car or emergency vehicle, change lanes and get out of the way as soon as possible. If there is not enough room, you should pull over to the side of the road if it’s safe.


Other Laws That Indiana Drivers May Not Understand

Four-way stop rules are not the only ones that some drivers don’t know. They also may be unfamiliar with some of these laws:


Move Over Rule

When you move slower than others on the road, the law states that you must be in the right lane. You should be as far to the right as possible if that is impossible. This applies to motor vehicles and also to people on bicycles, etc. The purpose of this law is to avoid accidents when slower traffic is on the road.


Minimum Speed Rule

You can get a ticket in Indiana for speeding and going slow enough to slow down traffic. However, there is an exception when you need to drive slower for safety reasons. For example, it is legal to drive well below the speed limit when there is heavy rain that reduces visibility.

If you are driving well under the speed limit and block at least three drivers that cannot pass on the left, you are required under the law to yield the right of way. To do so, pull as far to the right as possible and let other cars pass. You also should put on your blinkers so the other drivers know that you intend to slow down or stop to allow them by.


Passing On The Left Rule

Indiana traffic laws also state that you need to pass at a safe distance on the left. You must wait until you have cleared other vehicles before moving back to the right lane. When you are on a two-lane road, you are not allowed to pass a car in front of you unless there is no traffic coming on the other side. You also need to have enough space to finish the pass before you are within 100 feet of another car. If another driver is passing you, the law states that you are not allowed to increase your speed.


Following Too Closely Rule

When you are following another car, you need to keep a safe distance so you can slow down when necessary. You may not follow another car closer than is prudent and reasonable. The amount of space needed depends on the speed you drive, the time between cars, and the weather.

To be safe, it is usually wise to allow at least three or four seconds between you and the next vehicle. This gives you more time to slow down in an emergency, traffic, etc. You also should add more time when you are following in bad weather.


Hands-Free Driving Rule

It is illegal to text and drive in Indiana. When the car is moving, you may not type, send, or read text messages and emails unless it is hands-free technology. The only exception is if you need to report an emergency to 911. If you are caught texting and driving, the police can hand you a significant fine.


Right Of Way Rule

To turn left legally in Indiana, you must yield the right-of-way to traffic. If the car approaching you from the other direction is too close, you must wait until they are past to turn.


What Is Causing The Increase In Indiana Fatal Car Accidents?

If you obey the above traffic rules, you can usually avoid most Indiana car accidents. Unfortunately, the state has had more fatal car accidents in recent years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that 639 people died in car accidents between January and September 2020. This number was 9% higher in 2021, with 699 traffic deaths between January and September. For the first two months of 2022, there were 22 more fatal car accidents in January and February than in the same two months in 2019.

When it comes to fatal car accidents in the state, several factors are involved. Some sources suggest that fewer people are wearing seatbelts and more are speeding. A recent traffic safety survey found that fewer are wearing seatbelts. Plus, there were 238 traffic deaths in 2020 in Indiana because of speeding.


What To Do If You Are In An Indiana Car Accident

Indiana is an at-fault state for car accidents. This means the person who caused the accident must pay for the other party’s injuries and damages. If you or a loved one was hurt in a car accident caused by another driver, there are several ways to obtain compensation:

  • Talk to the other driver’s insurance company and accept a settlement. However, this is not usually recommended. It is common for insurance companies to offer a small settlement in the hopes that you’ll take less than you deserve. Instead, you should ask an experienced car accident attorney to review your case. They can tell you what the case might be worth.
  • Ask for more money from the insurance company and try to get a better settlement offer. It is best to have your car accident attorney negotiate with the insurance company for the best settlement. Your attorney is more experienced in negotiating settlements with stingy insurance companies. They also can threaten a lawsuit that could make the insurance company pay much more.
  • If the insurance company doesn’t offer a fair settlement, you should talk to your attorney about filing a lawsuit.

Reviewing your case with an experienced personal injury attorney is always recommended.


Contact Our Indiana Car Accident Attorneys Today

If you were in a car accident in Indiana and another driver was responsible, you should talk to an attorney today. You could be entitled to money for your medical bills and other losses.

Please contact one of our Indiana car accident attorneys at Blackburn Romey today for a complimentary consultation. You never pay any legal fees upfront and nothing at all unless we win your case.

Tom Blackburn

Blackburn Romey founding partner Tom Blackburn graduated with honors receiving a degree from Indiana University at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Initiating his legal career in 1977, he has been active in practicing law and currently serves as a member of the Indiana State Bar Association on the Ethics and Advertising Committees, the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, as a board member at the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, and as an appointed member of the Executive Committee for the State of Indiana for the National Trial Lawyers Association.

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