General Question

SuperMouse's avatar

Would you have given her a ride?

Asked by SuperMouse (30772points) April 25th, 2009

I was driving home at 12:30 a.m. when I saw a woman walking by herself down a semi-busy street. She was dressed casually and carrying a duffel-type bag as well as a purse. She was alone and walking quickly like she was either running away from something/someone or to something/someone. It was in a fairly safe suburban area, not a crime ridden area. Would you have offered her a ride?

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35 Answers

asmonet's avatar

Probably, if she’d showed an obvious sign of distress, like panic or crying.

Jeruba's avatar

Yes, I very well might have. I did something like that before under somewhat similar circumstances.

_bob's avatar

No way José. Who knows what’s in that bag.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I would have first asked her if she was okay and needed any help because she wasn’t giving initial indications that she needed a ride. If the request for a ride came about afterward, yes, I would have been comfortable giving her a ride to wherever she needed to go.

chyna's avatar

Maybe. With all the criminal things going on today, society as a whole has become more cautious about helping out their fellow man. I know I would have at least thought about it.

SuperMouse's avatar

I figured I would get some resposes before sharing what I decided to do.

Likeradar's avatar

Nope, but I’m a girl and don’t let anyone I don’t know in my car. It’s just not safe.

hug_of_war's avatar

I wouldn’t. I just think it’s too dangerous. I would feel utterly uncomfortable being alone with a complete stranger in a confined space.

augustlan's avatar

Probably not… I’d be too scared. What I would do is ask her if she needs help. I’d then use my cell phone to get the help she needs, and stay nearby until it got there.

MacBean's avatar

I would’ve at least rolled down a window and asked if she was okay. If she indicated that she wanted/needed a ride, I would have given her one. I’ve picked up some pretty unsavory-looking characters before; I don’t have much sense of personal preservation.

SuperMouse's avatar

I pulled over and asked if she needed a ride somewhere. As she told it, she had just broken up with her boyfriend and he became abusive. She asked if I could drive her to a local motel, which I did. She gave me her name and phone number and thanked me.

I asked this question because I have gotten mixed reactions. Some people thought it was a great thing to do, others were horrified and thought I had put my life on the line. After hearing their feedback I’m not sure I would do it again.

MacBean's avatar

@SuperMouse I’m on the side of the people who thought it was great.

Judi's avatar

Before I had kids I wouldn’t have hesitated. Even though my kids are grown I still think about my grand kids and don’t take near the risks. I would have been torn.

oratio's avatar

I would probably. But, I am a man. It’s not likely she would get in.

I don’t know. Would you ladies get into a car at night with a stranger? Guess it depends on the stranger.

chyna's avatar

I’m sure the woman was most appreciative of your help.

augustlan's avatar

@SuperMouse You did a good and noble thing. It was a risk, yes, but I admire you for taking it.

rooeytoo's avatar

I face similar situations frequently, only they happen on long lonely stretches of road where another car may not pass for hours and sometimes days.

When driving through the territory I often will come across a car stopped along the side of the road and it is always a moral dilemma if it is a single or group of men in the car (I am a small female).

Here is my solution. I always drive past initially and check out the situation visually. If it appears that they may need help I will go well past and then turn around and go back, I again go past and get a second look and again do not turn around until I am well past. Then I make sure the car doors are locked and I have the passenger seat between me and the stranded vehicle. As I read this I am beginning to think I am paranoid, but none the less….. I also check to make sure no one is on the opposite side of the road, then I let the passenger side window down just far enough to talk and ask if they need help. If they say yes I tell them I will drive on up the road until I get phone signal and will then place a call for them. I ask if they need water and if they say yes I tell them I will drive up the road and put it out for them and then I drive on. I don’t know what I would do if someone said they were dying and needed help.

I know this all sounds paranoid but this is a wild place and lots of people disappear up here.

cookieman's avatar

@SuperMouse: You did a good thing at a slight risk. I think it’s a wash. You’re a good person after all.

@rooeytoo: I love how well thought out that all is. If I end up on a desserted island, I want you with me.

missingbite's avatar

Sure I would stop and offer help. I have done this sort of thing several times. Sometimes they needed the help sometime they didn’t. I should mention that I am a conceal carry permit holder so safety is usually in my favor. If it were a man I probably wouldn’t stop. Congratulations for helping another person. We need more people willing to help!

Jeruba's avatar

A young woman stopped me as I was leaving the drugstore one raw, rainy January night and asked how to get to the train station. It wasn’t an easy answer from there, so we chatted for a moment while I tried to help her figure out her options. Turned out she was running away from a young man who’d brought her out to California for what she hoped was a new life, only to find out that he planned on keeping busy with several other girlfriends besides her. He was trying to push her into “modeling” and had gotten abusive when she wouldn’t take orders from him. She seized an evening when he was out to run with what she could carry, leaving clothes and everything else behind. She was about 18.

I told her how to find the right bus line a few blocks away and asked her how much money she had beyond the cost of a ticket back home. She had only $5. I gave her a twenty and took off.

After I’d gone two blocks I made a U-turn, went back, and picked her up. She smiled through her dripping wet hair and said, “I knew you’d be back.”

I dropped her off at the train station, and that was it. I hope she made it back to Kansas.

Bluefreedom's avatar

@Jeruba and @SuperMouse. Kudos to both of you for your kind and thoughtful acts. Well done.

fireside's avatar

It sounds like the woman was showing signs of distress, so stopping to help her was a good thing. It may have been a little dangerous, but you did stop and ask about her situation before letting her in the car.

I bet she appreciated the assistance!

casheroo's avatar

I think you did a really nice thing. I think asking if someone is okay, and seeing their reaction is the best way to gauge the situation.
I forget what happened, but I remember I was at work one day (when I worked at Wawa, a convenience store) and the guy had been fired, and he was a door to door salesperson type. He was a year or two older than me, and I felt so bad. He wasn’t from this state, had been living in a hotel with a friend, it was really weird, I know.
I offered him a ride to where public transportation would be, and a rental car place. It was right next to where I was getting my hair done after work. So I take him and we part ways. I met up with him again I think for a drink, nothing else. I never felt my life was in danger, all my coworkers knew about it..so I guess that gave me a sense of security? (obviously his face would have been all over the security cameras so if something had happened, they’d know who it was haha)
It is a shame, that people are so wary. I’d be wary, especially being a woman with a young child.

SuperMouse's avatar

@casheroo I wouldn’t have even considered stopping if my kids were in the car. I’m totally with you there.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I would have done the same thing. However, had it been a man walking down the street, all I would have done was pull up next to him, barely roll my window down and ask him if he needed help. If he said “yes”, I would ask if there was anyone he wanted me to call and I’d call for him. No way would I allow a male stranger in my car, though.

If I was the person walking down the street, I would accept a ride, but only if it was a female asking me, or if it there was a man and woman in a car together. No way would I get into a male’s care alone.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Yes, because I have a gun under my seat. If I was alone and unarmed then no I wouldn’t be comfortable giving anyone a ride.

knitfroggy's avatar

I was coming home from work one night about 11:30 and saw a lady walking with a gas can and I picked her up and took her to the gas station and then drove her back to her car. The place I worked was on the outskirts of town and this lady would have had to walk probably 5 miles total to get her gas and then back to her car. As I was driving her back I got to thinking “What if this is a set up and there is a someone back at her car that is going to kill my ass?” She gave me no reason to think anything was weird or scary, she was thankful for the lift. My husband laughed when I told him about it and said I was paranoid. You never know, though-you have to be careful! I would do it again, I’d want someone to pick me up if I was having to walk. I run out of gas about 10 times a year, so there is a good chance that I might be hoofin’ it one of these days.

I probably would have driven by the lady, wondered if she was ok and then later really wished I’d asked if she needed help. You did a good thing.

3or4monsters's avatar

All these POSITIVE stories make me happy!

I did this once. I mistook her for a friend when I pulled over, said hi, and offered her a ride. I realized it was a stranger and decided what the hell, and she accepted. I’d gotten stranded on a bus route that ended 8 miles from my home a few months before, and when a woman pulled over to give me a ride home, I was so, so grateful. I figured, pass it on, you know?

All was well for about 5 minutes.

I asked her where she needed to be dropped off, and she ignored me. After I asked her a second time, she revealed that she fucking CRAZY and made threats about killing lesbians and “anyone who hits on her” (MEANINGFUL GLARE) and ranted about how she was running away from her family because they were trying to kill her. We’d gone maybe 2 miles before she got nuts on me, and I pulled over and said, “I have to drop you off here, sorry, my turn was 2 blocks back, gotta go” and she got out.

It terrified the piss out of me. Sorry, but I can’t bring myself to do this again. :( Offer money, offer to call, offer food, but… no.

knitfroggy's avatar

@3or4monsters Sheesh, what if she wouldn’t have gotten out? Would you have? I don’t know what I would have done!

Jeruba's avatar

Drive to the nearest police station and stop in front of it and say, look, get out now or I’m going to phone those guys in there.

Poser's avatar

Once, driving back after a very long trip to Denver, I was only a couple hours from my home in Florida. It had been raining heavily along I-10 earlier in the day, and the roads were still wet. I saw a pickup in the median, and when I went by him, he was throwing rooster-tails of mud from his back wheels about twenty feet into the air. As I had just bought a new 4×4, I was eager to throw it into low-four and see if I could pull him out, so I turned around and went to see if he needed help. He didn’t have any tow ropes or chains, and neither did I, so I told him to hop into my truck and we’d drive up the road to the next exit and find some. About an hour later, he was on his way, and extremely grateful. He gave me his card and said if I was ever in Tampa and needed a hand to give him a call.

Another time, I saw a young woman walking down the road near my house with a guitar strapped to her back and a duffle bag in her hand. I pulled up next to her and asked if she needed a lift somewhere. “South,” was her reply.

Turns out, she was running from something herself—an AWOL charge from the military. I didn’t find this out until after I bought her lunch and heard her story about getting sick of work one day and hitchiking across the country. I sent her on her way and wished her luck.

I think it’s sad that we are so scared of society that we would consider not helping our fellow man. We’re all in this together.

RedPowerLady's avatar

Someone helped me out once or twice. I didn’t have a car for the longest time. And that put me in some not so fun situations.

Once I had taken the greyhound to see family. I arrived back on a Sunday. And low and behold the city buses weren’t running. I had an old-fashioned heavy suitcase with no wheels to carry around with me. And it was a long way back to my house. So I started walking back. I had no money for a cab and I was in college in the dorms so no friends with cars to pick me up. This nice young woman, probably still in high school, offered me a ride. I didn’t even think twice about accepting. Pretty dumb. But she was super nice and I was super grateful.

I don’t know what position I would be in to pick up a stranger. I think I would do it under the “right” circumstances but I just don’t know what those are yet. LOL

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I wouldn’t have. The whole written scenario reeks of a domestic nightmare- the time of night, the suburbs, chick with no care walking instead of someone coming to drive her somewhere. Last thing you’d want is to drop the girl off at her destination and then be confronted by her other half who may have been following and watching. I understand your sense of good Samaritan and once upon a time in my life, I would’ve pulled over and offered help. Once upon a time.

jca's avatar

i would not have because better safe than sorry. if something bad happened, i could envision people watching it on the news and when the anchorman (or anchorwoman) said ”.....picking up a stranger walking…..” people who were watching would say “well duh what did JCA want picking up a stranger?”

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