How to face traffic

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Facing traffic the right way is important for good hitchhiking. Be sure to face the possible ride. Smile widely, but not ridiculously so. Remove any sunglasses or other things that may cover your eyes. This is really important. The driver must see your eyes. Seeing your eyes might be the difference between being offered a ride or not. Don't get frustrated when many cars pass you, as will invariably happen most of the time. If someone flips you off, don't flip them off back, just ignore them and keep your attention on the oncoming cars.

If the driver does stop, move quickly, but not too fast. If they stopped far ahead, run to the car, but otherwise stay calm. Keep smiling. You don't want to make the driver feel like their time is being wasted, but you also want to give yourself time to judge the car and the driver, and to decide if you want to take the ride. It's your call... use your instincts. This is something that you will quickly develop with a little bit of experience!

Looking at traffic is not always needed. Sometimes drivers do not seem to stop easily, and it does not always seem to matter if you look at them. That is simply a matter of good karma and will. Especially on countryside roads walking in the direction that you want to go and raising the thumb while a driver approaches, while you still keep walking, not looking at the car, this may work. It can also work on quiet roads at night.

  • Some people like to ask the driver where they are going first. If you get a bad feeling about the lift, it is easy to say 'no' by simply saying that you want to go in another direction.
  • Otherwise, specify where you are going. Maybe tell the driver where you're from, or your purpose. Sometimes it helps to explain how you got where you are.

Remember to be friendly and be safe. Trust your instincts.