Rules of the road
The old hitchhiking adage, “cash, grass, or ass” still applies, at least in principle. Though it’s not mandatory to give your driver anything -- especially your finest donkey -- it is good practice to offer to pitch in on gas if you can afford it.
The best way to stay safe while hitching is to plan properly, and give yourself options. Don’t depend entirely on anyone for anything: hitchhiking is something to do for its own sake
because you're, like, totally a free spirit and need rad stories to tell your friends back home, not something you have to do because you’re out of money and time.