Tag Archives: PSA

Rules for Four-Way Stops?

Four-way stops, also called all-way stops, are when there are stop signs for traffic coming from all directions. No street’s traffic has priority, all must stop.

4-way stop

First to Stop, First to Go
Each car must stop before the stop line or the crosswalk. In general, the driver who was stopped first gets to go first. And this means stopped at the stop line first. If you were behind a couple of other cars at the stop sign and a car pulls up from another direction with no cars in front of it before you get up to the stop sign, they will get to go before you.

Confusion happens when two cars reach the stop sign at the same time. If they are across from each other (traveling parallel, but in opposite directions) and going straight, they can both go after making a complete stop. They can also both go if one or both are making right turns.

Straight Traffic Goes First
If both cars are taking a left turn, they may both go after making a complete stop. In this case and the ones above, neither car crosses the path of the other car, but, if one car is turning left while the other is going straight, that turning car would have to cross the path of the other car. In this case, the car going straight has the right-of-way and goes first. After that car goes, the car that needs to turn may go.

Farthest to the Right Goes First
If two cars reach the stop sign at the same time from perpendicular directions (the other car is on the road to the right or left of you), then the car to the right goes first. If the other car is to your left, woohoo, it’s your turn to go first. If there are more than two cars, the one that’s farthest to the right goes first, then it goes around in a clockwise direction, just like you’re dealing cards.

When you pull up to the stop sign, always try to make eye contact with the other driver. (This may not work in all countries. In some places, making eye contact is the same as ceding the right of way.) That way you know if the driver is paying attention and you will be quicker to notice if they decide to go out of turn. Going out of turn will make them an asshole, but your alertness may prevent you from hitting or being hit by them. That means they’re an asshole on their way to annoy other people instead of being an asshole that you, the police, and your insurance company have to deal with.

Things You Should Do If You’re In an Accident?

After an Accident

First, stay calm. Breathe in slowly. Breathe out. Are you hurt? If so, remain where you are and phone for help or ask someone to phone for you.

If you are not hurt and your car is drivable, move it out of the way of traffic. (This means onto the shoulder of the road, not home to your garage. Leaving the scene of an accident is a big no-no.) If you cannot move it, turn on your hazard lights.

Get out of your car if/when it is safe to do so. If someone is injured, do not move them. Wait for EMS.

If someone is injured, call 911. Otherwise just call your local police so that they can fill out an accident report for you. (Pause your reading for a moment look up your local police department’s phone number and program it into your phone.) Tell the police there was a car accident and give the location. Do not say, “I hit someone” or anything that admits fault.

When you approach the other driver you can ask if they’re okay but do not apologize for the accident or admit fault. I know, nice people want to apologize for their mistakes and an accident is definitely a mistake! But, that only works if the other person is also a nice person. You’re already having some bad luck and you don’t want to make that worse by admitting fault to someone who will use it against you later. Don’t start yelling at the other driver and accusing him of causing the accident, even if it’s true.

Exchange information with the other driver: their name (and the car owner’s name if the driver is not the owner, also ask their relationship to the owner), contact information, make and model of vehicle, driver’s license number, insurance carrier and policy number. If the other driver asks for your social security number, do not provide it. They do not need that to file an insurance claim. Don’t discuss what your insurance policy covers either. Just give them the number of your insurance company and let them handle it.

If there are witnesses (this doesn’t include people in either car), get their names and contact information. Look around to see if there are traffic cameras or if a nearby business has video surveillance cameras that may have recorded the accident.

Take photos of the vehicles and the accident scene. Note the time of day and the weather conditions.

Make a note of the officer’s name and badge number. Ask for a copy of the police report.

Report the accident to your insurance company.

Don’t post the details about the accident to Facebook or Twitter or Google+ or anywhere else on the internet.

Things to Keep in Your Car in Case of an Accident

You should always have your car’s registration and a copy of your insurance card in your glove compartment. If you or another frequent driver/passenger of the vehicle has any special medical conditions, it would be a good idea to keep a printout with the medical information with your other documents.

Other things that may be useful in an accident are flares or warning triangles, a first aid kit, a flashlight and work gloves. If you live somewhere that has cold weather, you may want to add hand warmers, emergency blankets (also called space blankets), a hat, and insulated gloves.

Make sure your cell phone has your local police department’s phone number and an emergency contact for you. Store the emergency contact in your phone under ICE (In Case of Emergency).

Skills I Can Learn in a Short Time?

What can you learn in a few weeks to a few months that would look good on resumes or college applications and maybe give you something interesting to talk about at parties?

Learn HTML and CSS – Okay, this may not make you the life of the party but it will look good on resumes. Codecademy.com has a free online course that can teach you how. The estimated course time is about 7 hours.

Learn First Aid and CPR - The American Red Cross offers classes (the ones in my area are $90 to $110 each). Sometimes schools, businesses, churches or other organizations will pay someone to come teach CPR and first aid to interested members can learn for free, so it’s worth asking around.

Improve Your Public Speaking Skills - Join Toastmasters. They have 15,400 clubs in 135 countries. It’s a non-profit organization that helps members improve their communication and leadership skills.

Learn American Sign Language - Or the sign language appropriate to your country. You’re not going to be an expert within just a few months but you can learn some basic communication. Start ASL has some free online classes. ASLU has tutorials and lots of resources. ASL Pro has video tutorials along with resources for students and teachers.

Or, if you’re not good with your hands, learn a language from memrise.com or duolingo.com. Both are free.

Social Media Marketing - There’s more to this than being popular on Twitter or Tumblr, it’s about presenting an image and delivering a message. DS106 is an open online course on digital storytelling presented by the University of Mary Washington.

The University of Salford, Manchester offers an open online course covering search and social media marketing for international business.

ALISON offers an online course called Diploma in Social Media Marketing. The course if free but you will need to register to access the course resources.

Dinosaurs! - The University of Alberta offers Dino 101 – Dinosaur Paleobiology. It’s a 12-week free online course. It may not do anything for your resume, but it sounded interesting so I’m including it.