On accepting rides from strangers?
I've been thinking about this a fair amount lately. Ever since I broke my foot, plenty of strangers have been showing lots of extra kindness. Opening doors, offering help, and just checking to see if I'm okay. But last week, for the first time, a random guy stopped in his car and rolled down the window to offer me a ride. I thanked him for the offer, but turned him down. I wasn't far from home, and I don't particularly like the idea of getting in cars with strange men.
Fast forward to tonight. As I'm crossing the street heading for the bus stop on the way to see a friend, a black car stopped at the traffic light rolls down the window, a young guy probably about my age pops his head out, and asks if I need a ride somewhere. First thing that comes to mind is no thanks, but that didn't come out of my mouth as expected. I thought about the sidewalks, and how shitty they are tonight. Everything that melted today is starting to freeze, it's wet and icy. I find myself suddenly saying "really, you don't mind?". What? That was weird.*"I'm not going too far, just up ——— Street"*. He says "No problem, hop in!", and I do. As soon as I put my seat belt on I was so relieved to be out of the snow and icy mess that was outside, but I also really hoped I wouldn't regret this decision.
I lived to write this, so clearly I'm fine, and wasn't raped, nor murdered. Just some guy doing a good deed. His name was Tyler, and he was pretty friendly. Chatted away with me the whole time. I had him drop me off at the Plaza nearby my destination, as I just felt better not having him know where I live or where I was going. Not that he gave me any reason to, I just felt better. And he knew that, as I had already stupidly mentioned I was going to a friends, so when I said "oh just right here at the plaza is fine", he just kind if giggled and said he would at least drive in and drop me off along the cleared sidewalk in front of the shops. I thanked him and hopped out, and after he drove off, I wandered around the corner to my friends place.
Yes, I know I could have put myself in a terrible situation. I could have been raped or murdered. Thankfully, I wasn't. It's certainly not something I ever want to do again, and would never encourage anyone else to do it. I don't even really have the greatest reasoning for taking the risk. I mean, yes, I broke my foot and I'm on crutches and it is really rough in this weather, but it's not like I was severely hurt or dying or whatever, you know? The bus stop wasn't that far from where he picked me up. Needless to say, Mr. L was not happy when he heard this. I emailed him to tell him and his only response was "Are you kidding me?".
So, my fellow GT'ers, I wanna know your personal policy when it comes to hitchhiking or accepting rides offered from strangers? Is there any situation in which you would? Wouldn't? Why?