Featured photo by Atlas Green under creative commons.
Hitchhiking is one of the oldest and most fun means of transportation out there. Although there has been a significant decline in the interest in it, many people still attempt to hitchhike even today. If you’re one of those people, you should keep the following six tips in mind in order to stay out of trouble during your adventure.
1. Travel With Someone
Hitchhiking is much more fun, less dangerous, and rewarding if you have a friend alongside you. There are a lot of Facebook groups out there that bring hitchhikers together and help them find partners for their adventures. Still, while you might be tempted to accept anyone that shows interest, it’s a good idea to run a quick checkup beforehand.
The easiest way to do this is with Spokeo, a reverse phone lookup and email search tool. It’s extremely simple to use – you find out the person’s number/email address, enter it into the form on the website, and press the button. Spokeo could then reveal personal details from the individual that owns the number/email – this includes criminal records, full name, social media accounts, current address, and so on. By doing this, you can avoid any unpleasantries right from the start.
2. Keep To The Side
While you may think that standing in the middle of the road is going to make you more noticeable, the truth is you’re only putting yourself at risk. Potentially reckless drivers might not have enough time to slow down, and this could lead to severe consequences. You should be visible to the incoming cars from at least 100 meters or more, which will give them the chance to decide if they want to pick you up and safely pull up to the side of the road. Ideally, you should wear bright, easily visible clothes to make yourself stand out even more.
3. Converse With The Driver
Once you’ve entered someone’s car, it’s a good idea to get to know them better – especially if you’re going long distances. All drivers have their reasons for why they decided to pick you up. Maybe they were like you once, maybe they’re lonely. Striking up a conversation is a good way to repay the drivers for their kindness. Also, you’ll be able to see if they’re a criminal or someone that could put you in danger. Ask questions, and be interested in what they have to say. However, if they don’t seem too keen on conversation, don’t push it.
4. Avoid Arguments
The best way to prevent accidentally angering the person behind the wheel is by avoiding any controversial subjects. This includes politics, religion, human rights, and other similar topics. If they bring these subjects up themselves, remain neutral without giving away your true viewpoints. If that’s not an option, agree with everything they say until you figure out what kind of individual they are. Unfortunately, you never know what can trigger a certain person. If things get heated, remain calm and don’t fight the driver’s opinion. The last thing you want is them losing concentration or even escalating the argument. It’s okay to back down, especially if your safety is in question.
5. If It’s Risky, Get Out
A drunk/drugged person behind the wheel is a disaster waiting to happen. If the driver is showing any signs of this, you have to remain out of that car any way you can. Before entering, keep your attention to the way the person is speaking. If they’re slurring, forgetting words, or anything similar to this, refuse but thank them for offering you the ride. However, if you’re already in the car and you’ve just noticed that they’re not in good shape to drive a car, you’ll have to be more creative. You can complain that you’re feeling sick and that you’ll have to exit the car as soon as possible. Remember, no matter what, your health is a top priority.
6. Don’t Hitchhike At Night
Nighttime hitchhiking is extremely dangerous in more ways than one. First, you’re much less visible at night, even if you’re wearing a fluorescent vest. Second, the number of drunk or drugged drivers is exponentially higher at night, as most of them are going to be returning from a night of partying. Last but not least, you’re more likely to stumble upon criminals or other dangerous people. If you really can’t avoid hitchhiking at night, make sure to take all the necessary precautions – vests, flashlights, etc.
Maguire Haigh is a marketing manager for Spokeo. He is interested in the latest technology trends, marketing strategies and business development. He also prefers travelling, exploring the world and meeting new people. Maguire has great experience in creating and editing articles on different topics.