The number of hitchhikers I see is on the rise. Most weeks I see several. I few years ago I would go months without seeing one.
When I was a young boy I hitched all the time. My first long hitching was from California to Arkansas when I was 13 years old. I had the money for a bus ticket but I didn't want to spend it. I had been visiting my brother and my mom sent the money for the bus ticket. She had no clue I was hitching home.
I crossed the country every summer after that. In all I hitched between 25,000 and 40,ooo miles before I was 20 years old. Never once did I feel I was in any danger.
Yes, I know, it was a different world back in the 60's. It was very easy to get a ride for everyone.
Today I try to help a hiker when I can (can't offer a ride in my company truck nor will I stop for one when my wife is with me). My wife doesn't like for me to do it, but it's just the way I am.
The last hiker I picked up was an older gent that had been visiting his brother for a week and was heading home. The ride was about 65 miles and we had a great time talking about life. Had I not been meeting my son, I would have driven 35 miles out of my way to take him to his front door.
I guess it is "a different world" today but one thing is still the same. People needing a ride still need a ride.