Top 10 Tips To Prevent Being Attacked While Hitch Hiking

Security experts the world over agonise over threat assessments which they are asked to compile by anxious parents whose child or children are set to take a gap year out to tour the world. One of the first pieces of security advice I always incorporate in my threat assessments is security expert advice about the dangers of hitch hiking. Given my skills in this area, the owners of asked me to write the following article titled Security Experts Top 10 Tips To Prevent Being Attacked While Hitch Hiking by Mark Yates, The British American Security Expert at

This is one of the areas of security where you can follow the first security tip in this list of Top 10 Tips To Prevent Being Attacked While Hitch Hiking and you won’t need to learn the other nine security experts tips. But before I grant you access to this valuable snippet of obvious security information, I’d like to ask you three simple questions to gauge your security awareness in order to prevent being attacked while hitch hiking.

Given that the majority of people reading this article are probably concerned parents, I’m assuming that they have more life skills in relation to general security and therefore I expect the parents to score better than their children in this simple test.

Before answering these three questions, I want you to assume that you are hitch hiking because you have to. Assume there is an emergency and you have no money and not other means of getting from your current location to where you need to be. You are out on the highway thumbing a lift and the following three people stop to offer you a ride. Which one would you trust the most?

The car stops and a well dressed 46 year old male in a suit and tie opens his window and asks you where you want to go. You see inside his car that he has a Doctor on Call sticker on his sun visor and a Doctor’s emergency siren and flashing light mounted on his dashboard. It’s clear he’s a genuine Doctor.

The car stops and a female driver aged late thirties asks you where you want to go. She has a wonderful smile and is quite endearing. She voices concern that you shouldn’t be hitch hiking alone.

The car stops and a 22 year old man and his young wife lean out of the window and ask where you want to go. You see he is a manual worker and their 8 month old daughter is properly strapped into a car seat in the rear of the car. The man fusses over his daughter like a loving parent. They have bags of food shopping in the car.

In April 2009 a UK Doctor GP was sentenced to three years in jail after pleading guilty to 32 charges relating to maintaining indecent and pornographic images of pre-teens. He was convicted, sent to jail, ordered to sign on the sex offenders register, suspended by the general medical council and disqualified from ever working with children.

You just hopped in a vehicle with a prolific female serial killer. Aileen Carol Wuornos who later admitted murdering 7 men and was convicted of killing 6 because the body of the seventh was never found. Wuornos used vehicles and hitch hiking as a method of offering sex to men before killing them. She was executed by lethal injection in October 2002.

On Wednesday April 15 2009 Channel 5 UK TV ran a true story documentary about a young American teenage hitch hiker Colleen Stan. Colleen was abducted by a sexual sadist Cameron Hooker and his wife, who also had their 8 month old baby in the car. The sadistic couple kept the girl in a coffin-sized box for seven years, relentlessly abusing, raping, buggering and torturing her into complete submission as their slave. Colleen had already refused lifts from 2 other drivers because she felt uncomfortable about them. After 7 years Colleen escaped and Hooker’s wife cut a deal with the prosecutors to give evidence against her husband who was charged with kidnap and multiple rape charges.

Dr. Mark D. Yates the British American Security Expert suggests you follow this link to read more about the Girl in the Box hitch hiking abduction.

So, back to the Security Experts Top 10 Tips To Prevent Being Attacked While Hitch Hiking. 

1: Don’t hitch hike. It may seem obvious, but unfortunately obvious doesn’t enter into the security dictionary. If you don’t hitch hike there’s no reason to learn the security experts Top 10 Tips To Prevent Being Attacked While Hitch Hiking. If there’s one single security strategy you should instil in your children, it should be never to go hitch hiking. Sadly as long as parents try to educate their children they will frequently think they know more than their parents, so children will always hitch hike. That said, and on the basis of seeking to minimise the risks, I’ll continue with the Security Experts Top 10 Tips To Prevent Being Attacked While Hitch Hiking.

2: Trust no one. Colleen Stan mentioned above turned down 2 other drivers. She also had the chance to escape shortly after being picked up by Hooker and his wife after they stopped at a gas station and she visited the rest room. She admitted to not feeling comfortable about the couple and considered not getting back in the car with them. Sadly she dismissed this as juvenile anxiety and got back in the car. Some minutes later Hooker pulled a knife on Colleen and abducted her.

3: Never, ever hitch hike alone: Safety in numbers may be quoted by security experts to the extent whereby it appears to be a cliché, but in terms of hitch hiking security there is added safety in being with someone you know and trust.

4: Never advertise to strangers that you intend to go hitch hiking. It’s very easy to let your guard down especially when you are chilling out during your gap year in an exotic location. However professional security experts will advise you that organised criminal gangs in some countries pay people for this type of information.

5: Travel with a modern cell phone which has a camera and internet access. A high resolution camera and wi-fi access is the key to minimising the risk to you and to prevent being attacked while hitch hiking. If a driver stops to offer you a lift when hitch hiking Ask them if it’s okay to take photos of the drivers car, its registration plates and the driver. Explain that you are e-mailing the photos with a brief text outlining where you were picked up, where you are going and your estimated time of arrival to your parents. If the person offering you a lift is genuine then they will understand your security concerns. If they raise any single objection no matter how plausible thank them for stopping and get away from them as soon as it’s safe to do so.

6: If it doesn’t feel right don’t get in the car. Intuition is one of our bodies natural defence mechanisms, most people refer to having a bad gut feeling when something doesn’t feel right. Your intuition is rarely wrong. It doesn’t matter how insignificant or trivial the reason if your gut feeling is bad never get in the vehicle. Security experts tasked with providing close protection services for fee paying clients are often classified as professionally paranoid. I know I’ve spent 20 years trying to fine tune my professional paranoia, it’s saved my life and the lives of my team members and clients under my protection on several occasions. It’s one of my greatest security assets, so never be afraid of being professionally paranoid.

7: Don’t provide information about yourself or where you are staying. It might seem like you are having a pleasant two way conversation with someone kind enough to offer you a ride. However if the driver is not who he/she appears then you are providing valuable intelligence which can be used to target you after you have left the vehicle.

8: Purchase a security threat awareness training programme. If you visit you can purchase various security reports and home study programmes specifically designed to minimise the security threats against you and increase your security awareness. These training programmes are inexpensive and packed with valuable security information.

9: Never hitch hike when overseas. Kidnappers target hitch hikers in many overseas destinations. These kidnappers range from small time crooks right through to organised crime gangs who make a substantial living off the kidnap for ransom industry. Terrorist organisations also target hitch hikers for kidnap for ransom as not only is it a lucrative earner but it offers global media publicity which is the bloodline of any terrorist organisation.

10: Don’t hitch hike. Hopefully you’ll understand how obvious this statement is, which is why it’s number 1 and number 10 in the British American security expert top 10 tips to prevent being attacked while hitch hiking. Hitch hiking flies in the face of every single security countermeasure designed to increase your personal safety.

Mark Yates the British American security expert from suggests his top 10 tips to prevent being attacked while hitch hiking is far from an exhaustive list and should be included in an overall security plan designed by a security expert of security experts.

Finally: when considering The Security Experts top 10 tips to prevent being attacked while hitch hiking, Mark Yates the British American Security Expert advises careful pre-planning when you or your children take a gap year overseas. Plan your security strategy to include tactics to minimise the risk to you and your friends accompanying you. Do not be seduced by being in an exotic destination and ensure you are never seduced by strangers in a foreign land. Trusting your gut reaction is a great start to increasing your security awareness.

Listen to your intuition, because that is the greatest defensive weapon in your security armoury.

Mark Yates is recognised globally as the British American security expert after providing his security expertise to government security, intelligence, law enforcement and security agencies in 41 countries. 5 major TV documentaries have been broadcast and hundreds of press articles published about his extremely high risk security operations. Contact him at

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