Picking up a hitchhiker is no different than being a taxi cab driver. Taxi cab drivers give strangers rides all the time. It's probably not the safest job in the world but they're just doing their job. It's a social obligation... people should pick up hitchhikers more often.
Some people are picking up hitchhikers because that's nourishing them more than any food, alcohol, weed or anything that could possibly do. But most people will look at you, judge you, think something of you and they will not help you... only because of what is already implied into their own minds.
However, there are many generous people out there that will actually pick you up and give you a ride. Some say that with hitchhiking you're starting to lose prejudices about people, and you'll lose the stereotypes about certain countries.
In Eastern Europe hitchhiking is very popular, but in Western Europe and United States in the last 20-30 years people have become richer that they used to be, cars became more affordable, and the need for security has increased a lot. Media has also become more sensationalist and people believe almost everything they hear. They basically believe that around every corner there will be somebody who wants to kill them, rob them or rape them.
The truth is people are not terrified of you hitchhiking but they're terrified of all the images that they've seen in the media about people getting murdered by Craigslist killers. But what are the odds? There are 60 billion Craigslist ads and only one killer.
Thomas Francine, over the past 5 years, has hitchhiked 26,000 miles around the world - visiting places from Texas to Turkey. He has also completed a 1,000+ mile Peace Walk, taking on a different act of kindness each week. In his travels, literally thousands of amazing things have happened, and his experiences have inspired him to create a documentary, research and write pamphlets, and build a project he calls Go Greater Good.