Be careful around intersections
In the early game, intersections are by far your worst enemy. Not only can it be hard to guess when it's safe to go, but some oncoming cars would appear to be attempting to break the current land speed record.
My advice would be to always take it slow on approach. You're never given much time to react when a car appears, so the best way to gauge it is to wait for a car to pass and then slam down the accelerator. The reason for this is that the cars seem to be on a timer, and so you'll almost never get two back-to-back cars along the same road.
And this is only the first step in your journey. Once trains, slip roads, and multiple cars on your lane are introduced, you're going to have to buckle down and become an absolute master behind the wheel.
Though, if you're finding it all just a bit too much, there's always the option to watch an ad and continue from where you left off – trust me when I say there's no shame in it.
More haste, less speed
Thoughtlessly speeding through levels can be a recipe for disaster, or at least a game-ending bump, so you need to establish a nice, relaxed rhythm with your taps. And it perhaps goes without saying that you can't hope to finish levels without slamming on the brakes every once in a while.
Of course, some obstacles do require that you get a move on – especially those pesky train tracks – so sometimes it's best to trust your gut and just go for it.
Double your earnings by watching ads
The best way to make money quickly in Pick Me Up is to watch an ad that doubles your takings on every level. Cars start out costing $1000 each, which isn't actually that much. Granted, you can't actually choose a specific car; it's always random.
Or, if you'd rather put in absolutely zero effort, you could just keep watching ads indefinitely for $100 a pop. Though, if I'm being honest, this method should only be used to get a little cash injection now and again. For example, I found it most helpful when I was just short of being able to buy a new car.