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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.
[[Image:IMG 5212.JPG|Yaniv with luggage and sign for [[Verona]]]]
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. Still, many hitchhikers hitchhike for short day trips on well-known territory and sometimes don't carry any luggage at all.
In any case, it's good to show some sign of recognition, even if you don't plan to stop. A quick smile or a gesture indicating that you're only going locally can give a hitchhiker some hope. And many hitchhikers love human interaction, so it's nice to have a chat at a gas station.
* [[digi:article480.html|An article at digihitch]]