One of the most popular means of transportation in history, hitchhiking, has become quite less prominent but still manages to stay relevant. If you’re one of the people who want to experience the thrill of this almost forgotten activity, the following six tips will help you do it successfully while staying safe.
1. Avoid Going Alone
Even though your chances of finding a ride while hitchhiking alone are higher, it’s much more dangerous than if you were to have a friend alongside you. If someone has malicious intentions, they’re going to look for someone who’s isolated and who won’t be able to resist as much – such a small stature woman. On the other hand, even people who are willing to help will have to think twice before stopping to pick up two men, for example. Ideally, a man and woman in pair will have the highest success while hitchhiking.
If you’re having trouble finding someone to hitchhike with, there are travel groups on Facebook created for this exact purpose. Also, you can check the identity of the person on the other end easily. Get their number or email address, and simply use Spokeo – a phone number search and email lookup tool to uncover their full name, address, past criminal records, and a whole bunch of other personal details.
2. Stick To The Sides Of The Road
You need to know the rules of the road before hitchhiking – especially if the streets have high traffic. Staying safe means going as far to the edge of the road as possible. Avoid standing in the middle, as there’s nowhere for you to go if a reckless driver comes along. Ideally, you’ll want to wear some bright clothes so that the drivers are able to see you at least a hundred meters in advance. This way they’ll be aware of your presence, have time to think about whether they want to stop and be able to do so safely.
3. Be Communicative
A large number of drivers pick up hitchhikers in an attempt to make their trip more interesting. They’ll expect you to engage in conversation with them, which is how you’ll repay them the favor. Ask them some basic questions such as what their job is, why they picked you up, where they’re headed – anything to help you get to know each other better. This will also increase your chances of getting them to drop you off at a more favorable spot, even if it’s slightly out of their way. At times, you’ll encounter some people who might not like speaking a lot, and that’s fine too. Be friendly, but don’t push it.
4. Don’t Participate In Arguments
While it’s not an overly common occurrence, you might find yourself stuck in a tricky conversation where the driver’s and your opinion collide. This is why you should always avoid sensitive subjects such as politics, laws, health topics, etc. If you notice that the driver is trying to start an argument, diffuse the situation slowly. Agree with whatever they’re saying and try to change the subject. You don’t know what kind of person they are or whether they’re easily aggravated. In this situation, the smarter one backs down.
5. Get Out If They’re Under Influence
A drunk/drugged driver is almost a guaranteed disaster, no matter how experienced they think they are. If you notice the smell of alcohol before you’ve entered the car, make an excuse to avoid the driver at all costs – for example, tell them that you’re headed in a different direction. If you’ve noticed that they’re under influence later on in the drive, you’re in a bit of a trickier situation. Inform the driver that you’re feeling sick and that you have to stop as soon as possible. The longer you’re in that car, the higher the chances are that you’ll be involved in an accident.
6. Don’t Hitchhike At Night
Whatever the dangers there are during the daytime are significantly higher once the sun sets down. Road visibility is massively reduced, there are more people with malicious intentions, fewer cars passing by, etc. Unless you’re in an extreme hurry, passing the night in a motel is a much better option. If you do decide to hitchhike at night, bright clothes are a must. Also, even if there’s a slight off vibe about the driver, don’t enter the car – nothing is worth risking your life over.
Maguire Haigh is a marketing manager for Spokeo. He is interested in the latest technology trends, marketing strategies, and business development. He also prefers traveling, exploring the world, and meeting new people. Maguire has great experience in creating and editing articles on different topics.