And that ancient lineage – at least, by American standards – could explain the quaint tone of Thoroughly Modern Motoring Manners, a 48-page work that would put a little more chivalry back on the roads. Advice includes "It's good manners to remove your hat in the car, just as you would when entering a building," and "A chivalrous man will ensure that his female passenger is comfortable before the journey begins. He should offer to take her coat, check that her seat is adjusted and be sure that the temperature is to her liking."
Well, then. Men of honor, you have your orders. To find out what you need to know regarding everything else mannered and motored, just £5.99 ($9.22 U.S.) placed with Debrett's or Amazon UK will get a volume shipped speedily to you. And you know all the Astra boys will be doing it, so don't be shy. More words of etiquette wisdom are available in the press release after the jump.
* Astra and Debrett's team up to create the definitive guide to in-car etiquette
* Protocol tips for both passengers and drivers
* Book priced £5.99 from Amazon
There is a right and proper way to behave behind the wheel – from being a good car host to protocol regarding music choice. To redefine driving for 21st century motorists, two quintessentially British brands have joined forces to publish Thoroughly Modern Motoring Manners from Debrett's and Astra.
"It is important to mind your manners when you're behind the wheel. Thoroughly Modern Motoring Manners aims to provide relevant and contemporary etiquette advice for today's driver," explained Jo Bryant, Etiquette Advisor at Debrett's.
The 47 page book, published by Debrett's and available from 2ndApril from its website (www.debretts.com) and Amazon.co.uk, is the definitive guide to well-mannered motoring.
Simon Ewart, from the Vauxhall Astra team, adds: "When we developed Astra, we concentrated on making the interior special. From there it was a natural move to look at modern motoring etiquette, so the atmosphere for driver and passengers alike is as good as the ambience.
"Contemporary car design is all about great style, so it's important that today's drivers behave in a way that matches what their car says about them."
EXCERPTS FROM THOROUGHLY MODERN MOTORING MANNERS FROM ASTRA AND DEBRETT'S:
* On chivalry:
A chivalrous man will ensure that his female passenger is comfortable before the journey begins. He should offer to take her coat, check that her seat is adjusted and be sure that the temperature is to her liking.
She will expect her man to be a calm and competent driver. Any signs of aggression and she will most likely assume that in life – as well as behind the wheel – he is volatile and impatient.
A chivalrous passenger is as well-behaved and polite in the car as he is when he's out and about. He realises that jokes about women drivers are clichéd and is never a backseat driver. He's happy to sit back and enjoy the ride.
* On in-car entertainment:
Music should be carefully chosen and kept at a sociable volume. Save contentious remarks and heated discussions for non-mobile situations.
Unless you're a karaoke-pro or trying to entertain the children, avoid singing along. Equally, save whistling for solo drives.
* On being the perfect host:
Sometimes your passengers will want to doze or daydream. Always respect their wishes – if they want to stay in their own world for the duration of the journey, let them.
* On being the perfect guest:
The driver is in control of the car and that extends to the controls of the stereo, temperature etc. Don't adjust anything without asking first.
As a passenger, you don't have to concentrate on the road. Engage in conversation, but be quiet during tricky manoeuvres and challenging situations.
* On fragrance fundamentals:
A car is a confined space, so think twice before spraying too much aftershave or perfume as you may overwhelm your fellow passengers.
* On being ladylike:
Smooth down your skirt. Keeping your knees together, swivel your body and swing your legs outwards. Place one foot down, keeping your knees together.
* Dip your head and shoulders forward and slide and glide out of the car.
It's good manners to remove your hat in the car, just as you would when entering a building.
With a heritage dating back over two centuries, Debrett's is the modern authority on etiquette and manners. Debrett's acclaimed range of contemporary publications includes A-Z of Modern Manners, Correct Form, Etiquette for Girls and Guide for the Modern Gentleman. Jo Bryant is the etiquette advisor for Debrett's. She regularly comments on manners and etiquette for national newspapers, magazines, television and radio, and has written numerous articles on modern manners.