Is hitchhiking a forgotten art in America? There seems to be a I ovement to revive the practice since it’s aligned with the movement to cut down CO2 emissions, Yet hitching is a banned practice in some select states in the US because there was a time when numerous crimes that happened in America’s interstate roads were linked to hitchhiking. It came to a point when the practice was perceived as a dangerous way to travel. But was it really?
Nowadays, hitchhiking is no longer popular in America the way it was during the 1960s to the 1970s. Although there are some who still hitchhike, they only do so as a last resort and only after making sure that it isn’t banned by the state. Mainly because the drivers passing through that road will not stop to pick up a hitchhiker.
Factor In Car Ownership as Reason for the Demise of Hitchhiking in the US
While many became wary of hitching a ride with strangers, the past decades also saw that car ownership became common for the majority of households in America. Only a few had a reason to ask strangers for a ride and they did so with fear.
Police departments in many states discouraged the practice by spreading stories of crimes in which both hitchhikers and drivers were victims. While some states do not enforce the laws against hitchhiking, they strictly enforce laws that prohibit people from walking along roadsides.
During the same period, the cars in America became more affordable and lasted longer. In the meantime, many movies created horror stories that all the more associated the gruesome unsolved murders involving hitchhikers.
The FBI published a report that between 1979 and 2009, there were only 675 criminal cases of murder and rape along the Interstate areas and roads –— but not all involved a hitcher or a deranged driver who picked up hitchhikers.