If you decide to actively request help, you could try to screen for certain factors that might indicate that a particular person would be relatively safe to hail—for example, a man or woman who appears to be riding with his or her young children.
Even if you picked at random, without looking for indicators of potentially safe helpers, you would be statistically less likely to pick a sociopath relative to the likelihood that a sociopath might pick you when he or she witnesses your obvious state of vulnerability.
Part of the “chum” in this analogy would be body language.
Research shows that there are differences in the body language of those identified by anti-social prisoners to be target victims and those who are not judged to be easy prey.** Anti-social, dominating, power-abusing individuals have a strong radar for those who are impulsive, those who do not respect themselves, those who are desperate to find love at any cost – basically anyone who will play opposite them in a submissive role for any number of reasons.
In this scenario, would it be wiser to solicit help from another driver yourself or to sit in the car and wait for someone to notice your state of need and offer to help?
It would generally be wiser to take an active role in picking the target of your request for help.
Imagine that your car breaks down in a remote spot known to be close to a Federal prison.
Your cell phone isn't picking up a signal, so you are thrust on the mercy of a passing driver.