No way, no way and no way. I read a terrible article when I was a kid about a women who hitch hiked and was picked up by a sweet looking family with a baby. She was then kidnapped and held captive for about 7 years. It turned me off the idea of hitch hiking completely because you never know who is picking you up.
I would possibly pick someone up I was older and didn't have a child with me. A woman I know once picked up a hitch hiker and he was very surprised that she did so. "Aren't you afraid I might have something (a weapon) on me"? He asked. "No", she replied, because I might have something on me".
I grew up hitchhiking, it was the only way I could get around. I grew up on the east coast of Canada, and at the time, I had no fears when hitching a ride. I have literally been picked up hundreds of times when hiking, and only twice, was I ever scared for my safety. Once I was picked up by a drunk driver, and I'm pretty sure the other time, the driver was running drugs between two cities and picked me up along the way. Over 99 percent of rides were genuinely good-natured people wanting to lend a helping hand. That was, however, 20 years ago. I would not hike now. The world seems to have changed. It could just be that I'm older and...heh...wiser, but I just wouldn't feel safe hitchhiking now.
In the 1970s it was done all the time without much risk but it is different now.
I have picked up 3 in the last 20 years and 2 of them were harmless but odd. When I asked one of them where he was going he told me that he had just been released from a mental health facility and was going to a homeless shelter. It turned out ok but it was a scare that stopped me from doing it again.
Even picking up women is dangerous as you could be ok but what if the next person was not so I think that it is best to avoid the practice completely.
Yes, I used to hitchhike in the 70s along the east coast of nsw and qld. Alone or with a male. I usually got great lifts. I've had a few doozies as well. It is too dangerous to hitch now. Too many weirdos and violent people around.
I hitch hiked a lot in the 70's. The most memorable was when I was coming home with my sister and a male friend. It was getting near dark when we were finally picked up. It was an American businessman (we were in Canada). He picked us up because the friend was wearing a T-shirt with the American flag on it.
After I got a car, I picked up a few people. One was a young man in the rain. I was on my way to work and got a flat tire (only one ever). With no complaint, he got out and changed it for me.
I wouldn't do it now, though, give or get. People can be scary.