Poll: Give a Stranger a Ride?


August 16, 2006, 01:54 AM
Here's what's up: You're walking to your car, its daylight, and on the sidewalk in front of you, you see a very big guy, linebacker build, on crutches. He's moving along in front of you, and you overtake him just as you get to your car.

He's black, about 6'6". He's wearing a white polo shirt, tan cargo khakis, and he's carrying a black leather pouch that looks basically like a pencil case; it doesn't look big enough to contain a gun. He has a cast on his foot.

He asks you:"Hey buddy, can I get a ride with you? The Greyhound station is four blocks away, and I'm probably gonna miss my bus."

You know where the bus station that he's referring to is.

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August 16, 2006, 02:33 AM
If I'm alone, sure. If my wife is with me, nope, sorry, gotta run.

August 16, 2006, 02:52 AM
Is he cute?


August 16, 2006, 03:47 AM
No rides. No one. No time. White/Black/Male/Female/No way. More than happy to call you a cab.

August 16, 2006, 06:45 AM
Sure I'd give him a ride. He'll have to get in the back of my old rattletrap truck with the crates of chickens and hogs. In the meantime, the sheriff would be chasing the Duke boys in the Jumpin' General Lee right down the street at me. I'd swerve to miss the boys, run over the fire hydrant in front of the bus station, and come to a halt in the lobby while Boss Hogg stood on the sidewalk, spluttering with anger over getting wet under the stream of water. Oh, I forgot running over the cart full of watermelons on the sidewalk. The chickens and the hog would get loose and run around the bus station, and as the bus left the station, we'd have a shot of a chicken in the back window as the diesel fumes coiled "up around the tail lights". That big diesel engine is a playin' my song... :neener:

August 16, 2006, 08:00 AM
I'd probably give him a ride. But I'm from one of those peculiar places where there are a lot of black people and not much crime. My next door neighbors when I was a kid was black and I don't think I've ever lived more than a couple hundred yards from upstanding black people. Around these parts I wouldn't hesitate to offer _any_ stranger a ride, except the scruffy-looking ramblers on the interstates...

But I'm not stupid -- I wouldn't stop for anybody in urban America. My old man got a gun stuck in his face when two black guys standing next to a car with its hood up flagged him down in New Orleans about ten years ago. When he slowed down they pretty much jumped in front of his truck and that was that.

August 16, 2006, 09:03 AM
I use to work in car rental :rolleyes: I use to give A LOT of strange people rides :what: What it taught me was to trust my instincts. If your initial impression is that this guy seems okay, give him a ride, if you get any feeling of negativity re: this guy, don't do it.

August 16, 2006, 09:30 AM
+1 on 10Ring

I believe you gut feeling will bring you home 99 times out of 100. Remember, your gut wants you to live so you can stuff cheeseburgers and beer down :rolleyes: .

August 16, 2006, 09:38 AM
yes, give him a ride, but in the back of the truck only.

August 16, 2006, 09:39 AM
HECK NO!!! Like HKMP said, I don't care who you are I'm not giving you a ride and in reverse, I would not accept a ride. Would you want your wife/girlfriend/child to accept a ride from a stranger??? I would gladly offer assistance, or let them use my cell phone, but no one gets in the car. No one hitchhikes anymore for a reason.

August 16, 2006, 09:52 AM
I was always taught don't talk to strangers and don't give anyone a ride :uhoh:

Good friends of my grandparents were killed by a hitchhiker, so I was taught this as far back as I can remember.

Being a commercial driver, I have an excuse not to give someone a ride if I'm in my big truck. In my little truck, still, no. Never.

August 16, 2006, 09:55 AM
I've been without a car, and truding along on foot makes one appreciate folks willing to stop and help you out.

I will almost always give someone a ride that I see asking for a lift.

have a great day,

August 16, 2006, 10:12 AM
If I don't know you, no rides, never, ever. If you are in a jam I will call you a cab and maybe even pay for it if it's a short trip and I believe your story. I give a woman with children the benefit of the doubt and make sure she gets were she is trying to go safely. Giving a $20 bill to a cabbie is better than taking the chance I get robbed, hijacked, etc, and I don't have to feel bad about leaving a woman or her children high and dry.

My mother's uncle gave a young woman a ride one time cause she had a sob story and she shot him in the head for his trouble. She shot him by his right ear and by some miracle the bullet went down his sinus pasage into his mouth and knocked 2 teeth out. She freaked and ran and he managed to get himself to the hospital before he bled out.

She turned herself in later because she couldn't find any info on if he died and her conscience got to her. Apparently it was gang initiation related.

I don't give rides to strangers.

August 16, 2006, 10:28 AM
Grew up in Berkeley in the late 60's. Hitch-hiked all the time; rides were easy then. Met all kinds, too.

Today, I wouldn't give anyone's dog a ride. I'm packed everywhere I go, but I don't need the aggravation. On crutches, black, 6' 6", none of that's got anything to do with it. Though I did give a LOL ('little old lady' in yesterday's parlance) who was walking in the cemetery a ride to the grave she wanted... but that's different.

Essex County
August 16, 2006, 10:39 AM
As a teenager I hitched a lot. It was very comon in the sixties and into the seventies. I said yes, but only in small town America, I wouldn't in a large urban area....Essex

August 16, 2006, 10:58 AM
By myself, in small town america, yeah I'd probably give the guy a lift. I've given alot of rides in my home town, I never had anything worth stealing, always had iron hidden within reach.

Every guy is different, lookem in the eyes.

In urban america, no

with anyone else in the car, no

I can gamble with my own life and my own money, but I won't with anyone else's

August 16, 2006, 11:05 AM
I hitched from Chicago to Salt Lake City in 1986 when I was 19. I also used to give rides all the time. That was back when if I were robbed, they'd get pocket lint and a corn nut.

I have more to lose now.

August 16, 2006, 11:27 AM
Like 10-ring said, you can usually judge the person. Last winter my sled broke down about 40 miles from town. I had walked the 5 miles to US-41 and had turned toward town when a trucker stopped and picked me up. Last fall I picked up a guy who was stranded out on a snowmobile trail with a broken truck.

August 16, 2006, 11:30 AM
No rides.
Too many Otis Otoole's and Henry Lucas types on the roads.:evil:

August 16, 2006, 11:40 AM
I have been a cab driver in the past, I prefered to drive at night. And although I can pretty much avoid trouble I don't look for it. Normally I would not give a stranger a lift, especially in an urban area. I also consider a rural setting just as dangerous even though there are just fewer people. Back when I was stationed at Minot North Dakota, it was like an unwritten code that in the winter, if you saw a stranded motorist you would pick them up. But then it was a matter of survival and there was almost no crime up there. [the -40 kept the rifraf out].

August 16, 2006, 12:27 PM
The question to ask is, is his "brain squirmin' like a toad?"

If not, sure.

August 16, 2006, 05:04 PM
Nope, no rides unless recognize the person as someone who lives in my community and someone I've meet before.

longeyes: Dude, you've just dated yourself with the toad comment. :neener: Oh, wait a moment... :uhoh:

Tim Burke
August 16, 2006, 05:19 PM
A cast? You mean like Ted Bundy had?
Last time I gave someone a ride it was 2 men carrying a gas can on the side of the interstate just leaving a stranded school bus that was full of kids and had a paint job that designated that it was from a church. I drove them to the gas station, and back to the bus.

August 16, 2006, 05:30 PM
This happened yesterday, a couple hours before I made the poll, which I made because it got me wondering about it.

This guy was monstrous. He was 5 inches taller than me and probably nearly twice my weight, and he obviously didn't get that way out of laziness. And I was feeling good because I had just gotten out of a very ugly, completely unrelated deal earlier that morning.

You get vibes from different sorts of people. Maybe "vibe" isn't the right word for the situation, but I think the point is made. I've gotten bad feelings from people, and this guy didn't ping on the bad-guy sonar even a little.

I used to live in the neighborhood that he was walking through, it was busy as hell because it was move-in day on campus, and the bus station was, as far as someone capable of unmitigated walking, very close by. I was alone, and the other factors involved told me that the risk was basically zero, even if he could crush my head with one hand.

He introduced himself by name, shook my hand, asked for my name before asking for anything at all. So I didn't really sweat it.

I know its generally a bad idea to give strangers a ride, but I didn't see any risk on this one.

August 16, 2006, 05:35 PM
Yes, but in the back of my truck with me helping him in & out. I've been in his situation, so I know how he feels.

August 16, 2006, 06:02 PM
I go by vibes (gut feelings) also. I am sorry to say that I also profile. If the guy (doesn't matter if white/black/etc..) is dressed for the season, not in "gangsta gear" or looking like he (or even she) made money but not from an honest job, then no, I won't give a ride.

August 16, 2006, 06:19 PM
Twenty years ago, sure no problem... Today, no.

Too suspicious an age. (Mine and the world's.)

A couple of months ago my aunt and uncle were driving into Flagstaff and came across a car that had gone off the side of the road. A nice looking couple were standing by it looking distressed. They stopped and ended up giving the strangers a ride into town.
On their way back home my aunt and uncle saw several state troopers milling around the car that the "nice" couple had come from. It turns out that the couple were fugitives. After telling the police where they dropped them off and what they were wearing, my aunt and uncle were sent on their way.

Too many ways this could have gone bad.

August 16, 2006, 07:50 PM
On their way back home my aunt and uncle saw several state troopers milling around the car that the "nice" couple had come from. It turns out that the couple were fugitives.

Very lucky the fugitives didn't decide to acquire a new vehicle and not leave witnesses.

August 16, 2006, 08:27 PM
A clean cut black guy, no problem. If he's raggin' & saggin' no way. I prefer to treat people as fellow humans, but I ain't stupid.

August 16, 2006, 08:35 PM
the 'Cuda - white interior, nobody wears shoes in it... it's a showcar, and with acast, shoes hard to remoe

the Jeep and the '01Ram, lifted, big tires, with a cast, he can't get in...

motorcycle - she seats 2-up, but him and me together would exceed max GVW...

then again, with my choice of transportation, i doubt he'd be asking me!

August 16, 2006, 08:39 PM
I develop situational awareness in order to avoid danger. Stopping is courting danger. We had a story today in Houston of some poor schmoo who stopped only to find that the "stalled car" had several attackers in it.


August 16, 2006, 09:26 PM
A couple of years back, maybe 3, before I carried daily, I was offered a ride, and accepted. It was, at the time, a God-send. I was having to walk a few miles to the shop to get my car. The distance wasn't the issue, it was the roads that weren't exactly great to have to walk on. I was barely out of sight from my house before a guy pulled up, and offered me a ride.

The lessons my mother taught me (never take a ride with strangers) fought with my gut (climb in). I went with my gut, he got me to the shop, and I never saw him again. Nice guy, whoever he was.

I have to second trust your gut. Your gut btw, is NOT what your eyes see. The guy who offered me a ride was kind of scraggly looking, but it was the scraggly look of someone who has been working. Granted, I also second never give someone in inner cities a ride, when this happened it was off in a very rural part of the county. (Hence the reason why the roads weren't great to walk on, well paved, people liked to speed around curves, and no place to stand but in the road.)

August 16, 2006, 09:34 PM
If he didn't plan ahead that's his problem. I don't ask anyone for anything and I expect the same from others. Not that I'm mean... I just don't see the point in putting myself in a potentially bad situation for no reason.

I don't give anyone anything unless I know them personally.

August 16, 2006, 09:49 PM
I have a protected by glock sticker on the front windshield (passenger side)...haven't had anyone ask for a ride yet!!! I take that back I did pick up a friend of a friends girlfriend once but I had met her once before so I guess that doesn't count.

Would I give a ride to someone on the street, probably not, but if someone had a breakdown and I stopped to help (done it before), and they needed a ride to the nearest exit I might do it...depends on the scenario, who I feel I'm dealing with, the severity of the situation (ie is anyone hurt or in trouble) and the firepower I'm packing. I know that its a known ploy out there to car jack, but again, I'd evaluate the situation first. Preferably, I'd just let them use my cellphone to call for help, or let them use the arsenal of tools I carry with me as my car is suped up and constantly breaks down, so I have every tool imaginable in the back. Again just depends on the situation, but I would always lean to not let anyone I dont know in the car.

As for the cast scenario, I'd pass him up. From the sound of the scenario should I lose my gun, sounds like he has the advantage (height weight, and cast could be fake, crutch could be a shotgun/sword, etc). Also the pen case could be a blade ready to plunge through the side so I'd be leary. Not that someone small couldn't just as easily take me but again its the scenario. Being that the issue is not getting to the bus in time, its not worth the risk to me. Leaving an old person, or pregnant woman on the side of the highway at night or worse a really hot day is a different scenario though. If I feel there is little threat to me, and a big threat to the person on the road, I might consider it, but the scenario has to be right.

PS - I tend not to stop for able bodied people, lol.

August 16, 2006, 10:55 PM
In fairness, I'd had lots of time to look this guy over, as we were walking the same direction on the same side of the street, and I had come around the block from behind him.

I have an NRA bumper sticker on my trunklid, didn't seem to deter him. Moving as slow as he was, he must have had plenty of time to figure out what's up. It may have been offset, however, by the fact that my car is purple and looks remarkably like an egg.

August 16, 2006, 11:20 PM
I gave a guy a ride once, he was carrying a big bag down the road and I felt bad for him so I stopped and picked him up. He set the bag on the floorboards between his feet and we were off.
We were going along for about a minute or two when I noticed that he kept peeking in the bag every 10 seconds or so. Finally my curiosity got the best of me, I asked him, "What's in the bag?". You know what he said? "None of your darn business."
At first I thought that was really rude of me, then I realized that I was going out of my way to help the guy, and I kinda wanted to know what was in the bag, so it was my right to know what he had brought into my car!
I asked him again "c'mon, what's in the bag, dude!"
"None of your darn business!"
Now I was angry.
"You tell me what you brought into MY car in that bag, or you can get out!"
"None of your darn business!!"
I slammed on the brakes and we came to a screaching halt on the shoulder of the road.
"Get out!"
He called me some choice names and exited the car, slamming his door. I laid rubber as I took off down the road.
After I got to where I was going, I was getting out of the car and I looked over at the passenger side:

He had left the bag in the car!! :eek:

August 16, 2006, 11:22 PM
Given the scenario presented.
If it is obviously not a scam, which I think would be easy to determine. I would feel almost compelled to give the guy a ride even if it was slightly out of my way.

Kharma smiles on those that help fellow travelers in need

Rich K
August 16, 2006, 11:37 PM
I would probably give him a ride if I was alone. I have stopped and helped people in the city( south of 8 mile) for any Detroiters on this board. I believe that if you do a good turn for somebody, it will come back to you. Besides, imagine if your wife/sister/girlfriend/daughter had a flat in a bad area, would you not want someone to help them get on their way before something bad happened? Just my .02.

August 16, 2006, 11:49 PM
For the scenario described, I would give him a ride if I was carrying. Since that's 99% of the time, I voted yes.

That being said, I have only picked up a hitcher once, and I had two friends in the car too.

August 17, 2006, 12:10 AM
He had left the bag in the car!!So what was in the bag?;)

August 17, 2006, 12:16 AM
sure, if it was fifty years ago before people were animals.

As it is, sorry no rides. If its a bad neighborhood and see someone that looks totaly out of place I might consider it....maybe if you catch me in a good mood. But I'd say 99% of the time my answer is going to be no, to many animals in the world we live in today.

August 17, 2006, 12:49 AM
I believe it depends on where one lives and the situation. No problems giving a stranger a ride, where I live in farm country about 30 miles from a large city. The nearest large town with a bus depot is a college town. If I lived in a large urban area with high crime rate then I would probably not give anyone a ride.

August 17, 2006, 01:15 AM
Every one is different,gut feeling applies, in this situation most likely I would.

Cautious even suspicious, sure makes sense, but if your at the point where every one you see is a deranged psycho killer in your mind...well...humm... good luck with all that!

History Prof
August 17, 2006, 01:23 AM
"You tell me what you brought into MY car in that bag, or you can get out!"
"None of your darn business!!"
I slammed on the brakes and we came to a screaching halt on the shoulder of the road.
"Get out!"
He called me some choice names and exited the car, slamming his door. I laid rubber as I took off down the road.
After I got to where I was going, I was getting out of the car and I looked over at the passenger side:

He had left the bag in the car!!:eek:

Hey, you can't tell a story like that, and not tell us what was in the bag! You musta looked inside, right? :D

History Prof
August 17, 2006, 01:34 AM
When I was about 20 or so, a friend and I were heading out to the range to send some lead flying, and we had about 8-9 rifles in the back seat of my car, and a few pistols on the seat between us. As we were entering the interstate onramp, there was this little old lady - had to have been about 70-75 - hitchhiking. We decided to see if we could help her out. She took one look in the car and said "I think I'll wait for the next one..." I still wonder why she was hitchhiking in the first place.

It is very common where I live now, but it is always the same people - a couple of farm hands who hitchhike across the community, and the Native American college students who hitchhike from town to the Res. Every once in a while, strangers hitchhike through, or they stop and panhandle at walmart, but the local LEOs usually help them along.

To answer the original question - NO. Not in today's world, unless the hitchhiker were one of my students (and male only, as I don't need any funny allegations from female students) and I was going his way.

August 17, 2006, 02:15 AM
Too many whackos out there use the "disability" scheme to their advantage. When I was a LEO, I had 2 incidents involving that technique. One was a guy on crutches with a leg cast trying to load stuff into his vehicle outside a local apartment complex. Several guys offered help, he refused, but he did approach a female for help. Thankfully a resident realized this as well and called the Police. He was wanted for rape in a nearby town. Second was similar but the guy was feigning a broken arm and disabled car on the roadside at night.
I hate seeing people down on their luck, and I help anywhere and anytime I can, but in today's world, hitchhikers are generally on their own IMO.
If a guy has a disabled vehicle and is walking I will stop briefly and offer to call a tow service or similar for him, but by no means does anyone enter my vehicle.

August 17, 2006, 03:08 AM
Before I had children I would give a ride to most anyone. I no longer give rides.

August 17, 2006, 03:34 AM
Here in Vegas, very doubtful I'd give anyone a ride and never if the wife is there, which she usually is. When we move to Pahrump that might change as it's a much different world there.

Derby FALs
August 17, 2006, 04:20 AM
Would you get in a car with this man?


August 17, 2006, 04:38 AM
my brother was carjacked for stopping to help a woman change a tire. he was accosted by two armed men who took his truck, and the woman left with them. it's a sad state of affairs where you can't help strangers like you used to, but that's what it's come to. i used to stop and try to help people if i had the time, but now i don't. too much to lose.

a week or so ago a guy offered me $40 for a ride across town. i told him i'd gladly call him a cab who would gladly take his $40. he declined my offer and kept waiting, probably for someone else to take him up on it. i go with my gut, and my gut doesn't trust people i don't know.

August 17, 2006, 05:21 AM
Some good reading about a man who hitchhiked in the 90s is "Bomb the Suburbs".

He would go to all the ghettos and walk around. He is a white male who grew up in Hyde Park in Chicago that wanted to prove a few points.


August 17, 2006, 05:57 AM
I think some people are expecting badguys to look like badguys.

August 17, 2006, 08:30 AM
He had left the bag in the car!!

Hey, you can't tell a story like that, and not tell us what was in the bag! You musta looked inside, right?

So what was in the bag?

None of your darn business!!! :neener: :evil: :D

August 17, 2006, 09:06 AM
No hitchhikers at all along the road system even though most are backpack wearing hippies during the summer between ANC and FAI and are probably harmless enough.

Out in the bush and rural areas it's kinda expected that you help folks.

August 17, 2006, 04:49 PM
NO NO NO NO.... The days where people are mostly good are over. Prevention and awareness are the most important things that a person can practice to keep themselves and their family safe.

I don't care if its a diabetic amputee midget on the verge of respiratory failure. I ain't gonna pick him up and neither is anyone in my family.

Its very sad that things have gotten the way they are, but my family's safety is far more important than the convenience of a total stranger.

August 17, 2006, 08:47 PM
i went 18 years without a drivers license i pick folks up now soetimes. usually only when i'm with someone else in the thruck i make my friends get in back seat with my pistol rider is up front in front of them.one guy asked me why my friend got in back i told him the truth"i don't know you but i'll give ya a ride if you get stupid i'll have him shoot you

August 17, 2006, 09:46 PM
Nope. Never. I've read a lot of "not in a urban area, but rural area is ok" Do you think sh*t does'nt happen in the country? Don't kid youself, people still get robbed, raped, and murdered in small town USA. Just this past spring, off of I84 in northern CT a lady stopped for a trucker who flagged her down. She was raped and tied to a tree less than 2 miles from her house :fire: That area is very rural in CT. I've told my wife, if some steps in front of the truck to try and get you to stop, do everything to can to avoid them, but DO NOT stop under any circumstances.

Green Lantern
August 17, 2006, 10:47 PM
I dunno what I'd do in the situation in the OP, but I will tell you what I did last year. (Before CCW...)

I stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up a CD, about 7:30 in the evening - still light out. On the way out I see a youngish, rather scrawny looking white male walking with a cane. He asks me if I know anything about alternators on a car. Unfortunately, I missed the dip in the "mechanical skills" end of the gene pool. Whipped out the cell and tried to call my brother and another guy who knows this stuff, but could get neither. He said he lived in an apartment a few miles up the road and asked if I'd give him a lift. I realize my gut isn't really OLD enough to have much "insinct" but it said the guy was legit so I agreed.

On the way back to my car, I kept pace with him rather than go ahead. Either a good actor, or the limp was legit. On the road he said he thought that I was a good Christian man, a couple had just passed by him without stopping when he spoke to them. I felt like he was being overly generous in his assesment of me, but just said something along the lines of well all run into trouble and need a hand sometimes. We got there...I think he offered to pay me, but I declined. He thanked me and was on his way.

Of course, it dosen't work out that good ALL the time. Did I make a mistake? I'm fine and I helped a guy out, so it's hard to feel that way. I realize of course it would not be wise to make a HABIT of this. But this one time I'm glad I did....

August 20, 2006, 12:06 AM

Glad it worked out, but it might not have. Don't recommend that unless you're the sort of fellow who likes a fight. I've given rides to people I knew were lying about why they wanted a ride, but I just wanted to see what they would do. Not the brightest thing I've ever done.

And just because the guy didn't attack you may not prove much. He may have decided during the ride that you weren't a good candidate. So he just got out at the bus station, waited until you drove off, and then looked for somebody else on whom to pull his gag.

Strongly recommend against giving rides to strangers. Wish it were a better world, but we have to deal with the one we've got.

August 20, 2006, 12:16 AM
I have hitch hiked and I feel for people needing a ride. As a result, I do on occasion pick up people. Color or sex does not matter; but how they are dressed does matter. In the right frame of mind and he strikes me as being honest, I would give him a ride to the bus station. I would have him put any bags or whatever in the back of my truck though.

I have picked up a few scary people and I have picked up some really nice ones. The scarey ones, you remember.

I frequently have too much junk in the front seat of my truck to give someone a ride these days. I am not going to move a bunch of stuff around for someone I don't know. I have been known to let someone ride in the back of my truck and then drive slowly.

August 20, 2006, 09:32 AM
.....but rural is okay. Don't think s**t doesn't happen in the country?

When I speak of "rural" up here, I'm not talking about "a ways outta town" on the road system.

Rural in Alaska is accessable by air, boat, snowmachine, atv only. You usually know the folks you're dealing with out there. If not, you know someone in their family or the family name.

August 20, 2006, 11:07 AM
I've been without a car, and truding along on foot makes one appreciate folks willing to stop and help you out.

I will almost always give someone a ride that I see asking for a lift.


In the mid 90's I hitched through Scotland when I lived there in college armed with only a folding knife for protection.

I have hitched in the States a couple of times.

I would say that I often give rides to people but it is COMPLETELY situational. I would likely have given the guy in the example a ride, but I would have had to have been there to get the "vibe" from the person.

In the last year I've probably given 10 people rides. I have some funny stories. I often give rides to people in ski towns, but these are clearly skiers going to the bus stop. Once I gave a guy a lift in Breckenridge on a 10 below freezing night, he was walking a mile and it was unbelievably cold. He turned out to be a bar & grill owner and bought me a nice dinner for my trouble. Some friends and I picked up a backpacker on a cold night in Breck and drove him a few miles. He was an odd character for certain. I've picked up a couple individuals at the entrance ramp to the highway.

It is situational though and I have NOT picked up a lot more than I have picked up. It depends on the location, the way the person looks, their gear, the "VIBE" they give, time of day, etc. If it's late, in a bad area, they look rough, etc. I won't pick them up. It also depends on who is with me, whether I'm armed (almost always am), if I'm in a hurry, if I can safely stop, if I have room in my vehicle, etc.

So, it really just depends, many times yes and many times no.

August 20, 2006, 11:25 AM
I used to be pretty complacent about picking up hitchhikers. As long as I was by myself. I did a lot of hitchhiking in my teens. What stopped me was a night that I was stranded and decided to hitchhike. It was somewhere around Zero degrees out and 0200. Needing to get back home and no convenient or short route to hoof it, I had called a cab. They didn't ever show up. So, hitchhiking it was. It almost turned into a nightmarish scene. The guy kept offering me illicit drugs (cocaine) and I kept refusing. He invited me to come "party" with him at "his place". Again, I declined. As he approached the exit where I needed to get off, I informed him. He never slowed. Not even 2 seconds after he passed the intersection, I grabbed his ignition key and turned off the vehicle. At that point, I pulled my Buck Folder and made sure he let me out. I'll never know his true intentions, but I was angry and scared. I still wound up walking another mile to my apartment. When it's that cold, it really sucks. One just can't trust anybody any more.

August 20, 2006, 12:29 PM
I actually agree with most of the posters, in that as a general rule, you don't give strangers rides.

But, I also believe in being friendly. The easiest way to not instigate trouble is to not act like trouble.

Nine times out of ten, I wouldn't give a stranger a ride. If I'd had my gun in my car, there's no way I would have even considered it, because it would be in the glove box directly in front of him. If it had been at night and the street was quiet, I probably would have felt the need to draw my knife, get in, lock the doors, and GTF out of there.

August 20, 2006, 12:46 PM
I know he might be faking with the crutches and cast, but if my gut wasn't screaming at me to run away, I would IF I wasn't with my wife or kids. I, of course, would be carrying, so I would pay close attention.
I've done this several times and always paid attention to the individual before picking up and while in the vehicle and was always glad I helped them out.
But, I have refused some to because of the "vibe" they were putting out. There are a lot of crazies out there, but most folks are just people trying to get by, just like me.

August 20, 2006, 03:47 PM
Nope. Never. I've read a lot of "not in a urban area, but rural area is ok" Do you think sh*t does'nt happen in the country? Don't kid youself, people still get robbed, raped, and murdered in small town USA.

I think one of the reasons for the caveat regarding rural areas is because there are less options for a stranded traveler or whatever. There are no cab companies in most rural areas, so that is out. In urban areas, there is a gas station or store or some neutral public area about every mile or three, so a walker in need can go and call the police/tow truck/relatives or whatever. Where I grew up, there were some strectches of road that went a few miles between farms, and if those farmers happened to not be home, and a person had serious trouble, then what?

Unless it is on a major highway, cops aren't going to eventually pass by and see the person and take action either.

Further, with less potential victims, most scam artists, criminals, rapists, and the like aren't going to try waving down motorist stunts...they use other tactics like spike strips, fake beakdowns that block the road, etc etc.

I won't pick up a stranger in the inner city, in most cities, or in the burbs, but out in rural areas, yes.

Also, a chilly winter day or night is a LOT different in how I read a situation. There leaving a person behind who is walking along a desolate road may well mean that person freezes to death.

August 20, 2006, 04:19 PM
I believe it would have to depend on a certain scenerio and gut instinct for me to decide whether to give someone a ride.

under the scenerio you described I might not.

If it was someone at my work but I still didnt know him yes I would.
If it was someone stranded with a car broke down yes I would.
If it was just someone thumbing along the road no I would not.
If it was a female I would most certainly give more consideration to giving a ride because of the fact Im male and would feel less threatened by someone smaller than me and out of male courtesy....predjudice maybe but the truth.

all my yes or no's are regardless of race.

sorry but the fact is these days there are too many loonies to just be nice to anyone.

lol!...the fact is if I saw someone who looked like myself Id be scared to give him a ride lol!

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