5 Way Stop – Yes, It’s a Thing

5-Way Stop

Yep, the 5-way stop is a real thing. And to cut straight to the point, it works exactly like the 4-way stop sign intersection. It’s exactly the same thing as an ‘all-way stop;’ all way simply meaning ‘everyone.’

These 5-way stop intersections are pretty rare in my experience, but they do pop up from time to time to seemingly make sure we are on our toes, so to speak.

5 way stop


5 Way Stop Intersection Rules

Let’s review the basic rules for 4-way stops, since these are the exact same rules for the mysterious 5-way stop.

The first thing to remember is that we must always yield the right of way to pedestrians.

In terms of vehicles, we must yield to any vehicle that stopped first, before us at the 5 Way Stop

So basically, you roll up to the intersection and stop. Then, yield to any pedestrians that there might be.

Pedestrians can make this situation confusing. Drivers are sometimes trying to keep track of some order, and then pedestrians appear.

Just do your best and make sure you do yield to pedestrians first, then figure out the order of vehicles after that.


If you stop at the same time

Just like the 4-way stop intersection, you must yield to the vehicle on your right, if you both stop at the same time. We do this merely to clear the intersection as efficiently as possible.

If we all yielded to the left, it would take us all longer to get where were going.

Some other rules for the 4-way and 5-way stop include:

  • If you stop at the same time, left turns should yield to right turns
  • If you stop at the same time, left turns should yield to drivers proceeding ‘straight’

Where Are they?

These are seriously few and far between, and in my experience they’re found in areas that are very quiet. In other words, the chances of 4 other vehicles being there at the same time as you is pretty rare.

But even if that happens, it’s really not hard. You almost won’t notice the difference.

Foster & Gatensbury In Coquitlam

Here is one example from Coquitlam. It really turns into a 4-way stop when there’s not 5 cars there at the same time.

I can’t see how much traffic would ever be coming out of that skinny road there. It’s just residential. It’s probably never too busy around there. Not any busier than any other 4-way stop, I mean.

4 way stop

Of course just be aware that you should be checking 4 other areas instead of 3. Other than that, I don’t believe these are difficult.

5 way intersection

If you do think this is crazy, check out SATELLITE PHOTOS: The Craziest Intersections In The World. It may just change your mind.

By Carmen

Carmen became a driving instructor at the age of 22 in North Vancouver, Canada.


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