The hitchhiking culture actually began during the Depression and World War II eras but became tremendously popular during the 60s up to the early 70s. However, the practice had died down for awhile, as numerous heinous crimes committed either by the vehicle driver or the hitchhiker became common occurrences. After the 70s and into the 90s, hitchhiking became less of a culture among backpacker-travelers.
It’s not a forgotten practice though, as there are those who claim to be expert hitchhikers, offering tips on how to safely hitchhike to one’s destination.
Some Tips on How to Safely Hitchhike
Hitchhiking has safety practices as it can be dangerous if done without precaution. This includes knowing where it’s currently safe to ask for rides. Using silent cues can also help in communicating with oncoming drivers.
It is recommended that hitchhiking be done at gas stations or places with a lot of CCTV cameras. An example of an area with multiple CCTV cameras available are at the border of a city. Gas stations are suggested as cars can slow down and pull up without causing traffic congestion.
Nonverbal communication and placards are a great way to let drivers know where you’re headed. It also does not hurt to put on a big smile while hitchhiking to better your chances of getting a ride.
It is also important to follow proper etiquette while hitchhiking. Let hitchhikers before you get picked up first even if you’re going the same way.
Employees at the diners and gas stations should always be treated with respect as this could influence how they perceive fellow hitchhikers after you.
Lastly, avoid littering and maintain cleanliness especially when you’re sharing a ride with a stranger.