Are four-way stops more dangerous than traffic lights?

At intersections that get a lot of traffic, the two basic options are to install a four-way stop or to put in a traffic light. When you pull up to a four-way stop, you may feel like it is more dangerous than a light. The light at least tells drivers when they are supposed to proceed, whereas a series of four stop signs means that they have to understand the rules of the road and they have to drive at the proper time. If they make a mistake, this leads to a car accident.

But is it true that four-way stops are more dangerous than traffic signals, or is this just a myth?

Some experts claim signals are the dangerous option

Interestingly, there are experts who claim that traffic signals actually increase the danger at intersections and that four-way stops should be used when possible.

The reason is that stop signs decrease the speed at the intersection. Unless someone blatantly runs the stop sign, they should at least be moving through the intersection at a relatively low speed, and any collision between two cars is less likely to be fatal or to cause serious injuries.

At a traffic signal, someone who makes a mistake, such as trying to speed up and run through a yellow light, will be moving at a very high speed at the time of the crash. So, while mistakes at signals may be less common, they can have more dire ramifications when they do happen.

You can be injured in either case

The important thing to remember is that you can suffer catastrophic injuries or wrongful death in either situation. All it takes is another negligent driver to make an error. If this happens to you, be sure you know how to seek financial compensation for your injuries.


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