Driving safety tips from 1937

September 21, 2008

Someone has posted complete scans of a booklet called “The Driver’s Handbook for Detroit, Michigan in 1937”. Some of the advice is, as could be expected, out of date. Most of it is just as relevant today as it was 71 years ago.


Drive Right

Drive Right

Automobiles were likely much more dangerous in the early days of motoring. In 1936 371 people were killed and 15,276 injured in automobile accidents in Detroit. In 2005, there 298 traffic fatalities in Detroit. It appears to be more dangerous to drive (or be a pedestrian) in Detroit today, since the city of Detroit’s population has dropped by about 50% between 1930 and 1990.

There is a lot of advice on dealing with streetcars while driving. These would be the same streetcars that GM had bought up like in other cities and put of business. That’s a controversial statement, but hell it’s likely true.

Don’t drive with anything in your lap, like a baby. Drunk driving, scourage then and now.

Look out for choo choos at crossings. And warn horse drawn wagons before passing them. Well, if you were to ever chance upon a horse drawn wagon, that would still be good advice.


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