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suburban george3

Hitchhiking

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I travel quite a bit from PA to FL and back to the Mississippi River with work and have noticed over the past few months that there seem to be a higher number of people hitchhiking than in years past. Just tonight I saw 8 people hitching between Asheville and Winston-Salem, NC; in the dark on top of that!

Is this due to the economic downturn or has the stigma associated with hitching waned recently? Are any of you folks seeing the same thing in your area?

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Between Charlotte and Asheville I didn't see anyone hitchhiking either going or coming and haven't noticed any increase in homeless on the streets in Charlotte.

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When I was a teenager, hitchhiking was a mostly harmless adventure~~I had oodles of friends (at the time:hippies) who did it on occasion. In fact my family would even pick up hitchhikers sometimes, if they were deemed "okay looking" by my mom-lol

But these days we have Aileen Wournos out there (and people like her) who would do other people great harm. But even with the fear and uncertainty I'm still saddened to drive by someone who obviously needs a ride.:( But sad or not, I can't put myself at risk~

I'm sure almost all of us would be happy to help someone with a ride if we knew nothing bad would come of it.

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^I honestly don't think hitchhiking is any more dangerous than it was in the past, just that people are far more aware of the (few and far-between) crimes involving hitching. Take your stereotypical case in which someone hitchhikes or picks up a hitchhiker, only to disappear and be found dead days later. A couple decades ago, this case would have made a day or two of front-page news in the local paper, but would get little to no coverage beyond that. The same case today would get 24-hour national coverage on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc. for several days at least.

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