The 4-way stop conundrum

There are a couple of 4-way stops around work that I usually walk past once or twice a day. Over the years I've noticed a few things about drivers' behaviour at these intersections, particularly older drivers. I think it must be one of those 'southern politeness' things.

Driver N pulls up to the intersection and stops, followed shortly after by drivers E, W and S. Now normally, whoever gets to the intersection first. That way people get to go through nice and orderly.

However, people in the south tend to be extraordinarily polite, especially older folks. So Driver N, trying to be polite waits for the other drivers to go. Drivers E, W and S sit there waiting for Driver N to go, since he was there first. Everybody waits, holding up traffic until someone decides to go. Naturally, everyone decides to go at the same time. So they advance into the intersection, but suddenly, seeing the others go too, they stop (don't want to get into a fender bender after all). Then you get this Mexican stand-off type of situation going where everybody is waiting for the other person to go.

Finally someone reaches the end of their patience and zooms through the intersection and traffic begins flowing again, until the next person comes along wanting to be polite.