While re-reading a vintage Nancy Drew first published in 1932, I was struck by the syndicate author's fascination with all things driving. In that spirit I have compiled a few tips from the book:
•Use your turn signal and other "safety devices."
"Nancy's new car had all the latest devices, and its clever driver certainly utilized them, yet without taking any undue chances. Dixon marveled audibly a Nancy took advantage of every opening, and when the traffic lights switched from red to green, had her car in motion before other autos in the line were started." (This doesn't actually sound all that safe--wouldn't you be ramming people?)
•Choose the correct headlight setting.
"As soon as Nancy shifted to high gear she switched her lights from 'parking' to 'bright.'"
•Timidity turns no heads.
"More than one head was turned, in envy or admiration, to watch the pretty girl manipulate her snappy maroon car with the dash and confidence of a veteran driver. Traffic did not worry Nancy." (Lucky her!)
•Keep your car in good repair.
"How quickly the auto responded to the touch of the accelerator, how easily it picked up speed when traffic moved on. It was certainly a fine piece of mechanism." (Unlike my Suburban, Big Mike, who takes his time.)
•Self-taught isn't necessarily a bad thing.
"A young woman as capable and self-reliant as yourself must be a wonderful driver,' Mr. Nickerson said, pausing at the car door. 'Wouldn't you like to drive?'
'I have never driven a car of this make,' Nancy said. 'But if you will risk the car---?'
Nancy accordingly seated herself at the wheel, studied for a moment the way the pedals and levers worked, and then started off. (This is about how Giles has taught himself to drive, actually.)