Just ask my wife, these things really irritate me. Not the stops themselves but the fact that most people (at least the ones around here) don’t know what to do when they come to one. And heaven forbid if a traffic light is out and it needs to be treated as a four way stop.
There are three types of people that come to a four-way stop that twist my psyche. The first and the one that really pisses me off are the pausers. They really don’t stop at all. They slow down almost to the point where they give the illusion of stopping but then rather than come to a complete stop and allowing those who were first to go they quickly accelerate through the intersection causing you to step on your brakes and giving you a small case of whiplash.
The second type is the uncertain. These frightened people come to the stop and they not only stop they camp. They’ll wait for practically everyone to go before they do. This is irritating if they’re at the intersection when you pull up because you come to a complete stop (providing you’re not one of the people mentioned in this post and you know who you are) and you wait for them to take their turn but they don’t go. You motion with your hand and they still don’t go. Just when you’ve had enough and you start to go figuring they’re communing with nature or asleep at the wheel they go too. Now you’re caught in this polite stop and go dance that finally ends with one of you taking enough initiative to drive through the intersection. The irritation they create is double if you’re behind them waiting for them to venture out into intersection space.
The third one is the uninformed. These you notice when you arrive at the intersection at the same time. As everyone knows (except these dullards) when you arrive at an intersection at the same time as someone else the driver on the right has the right of way. Now the uninformed will react in one of two ways; if they are the ones with the right of way they will behave as the uncertain and you’ll end up caught up in that slow dance. Or if you’re in the right of way they’ll behave like the pauser and you’ll be forced to hit your brakes sending your vertebrae into positions they weren’t meant to be in.
What really irks me is I have seen police officers fall into one of these categories and if they don’t know how to treat a four-way stop how will this ever be corrected. As with all minor annoyances, just grin and bear it. Even though I’d like to shove a bear… well I digress.