Jump to navigation Jump to search
no edit summary
When considering '''picking up hitchhikers''', keep in mind first and foremost, you are not obligated to let someone into your car just because you pulled over. That being said, try to be welcoming, but at the same time alert and cautious. Just because someone looks bedraggled, unshaven and questionably clean, doesn't mean they are dangerous or shady. You have to consider that this person has very likely been on the road for days on end, probably without a proper place to sleep, and maybe without a proper meal. Of course, it's also not uncommon to find properly showered and shaved [[hitchhikers]] wearing a suit and a tie.
A good starting point for your judgment is often their luggage. You should take a good look at the person's belongings as you slow down and pull over. Do they have a well worn rucksack and are their hands full with a map and a book while they frantically try to grab everything and rush toward your car? An honest traveler will probably have similar paraphernalia.
After this initial look, you should exchange a few words with the hitchhiker before throwing the door open. Many drivers pull over and hurriedly gesture for you to pile in, but you can often tell a lot about a person from an quick exchange, which could save you a lot of trouble. During this quick exchange, you have to keep in mind that the hitchhiker may also have apprehensions, and generally, they get the privilege of asking "where are you going?" before the driver does. This is because a the hitchhiker needs a "way out" if they pick up a bad vibe from the driver and decide they (politely) want to decline the ride.
A better spot is also more important than how far. Taking someone from a good big gas station and putting them on the highway (or off the high way) might make more problem than helping. As long as you can put the person at a somewhat better or the same quality place a little bit of a ride is better than no ride, if not much else it gives the hitchhiker a new scenario and some hope.
Sometimes you encounter hitchhikers at [[Traffic light hitchhiking|traffic lights]]. If the traffic light is followed by a convenient place to stop it's best to go there. Otherwise you have to trust on your instinct.