The 13 Most Dangerous Traffic Situations and How to Survive Them

Skills for Driving Excellence looks like a great guide.  What can you tell us about it?

It’s a labor of love and respect for my father, Sal Terrusa whose distillation of the skills needed to be dramatically safer on the road was the core of the original Teen Auto Club Driving School that operated from 1971 to 1992.  I didn’t want it to be lost as it is a tremendously effective set of skills for all drivers although our focus was on teens.


How long did it take you to write Skills for Driving Excellence?

About 2 years.


What inspired you when writing Skills for Driving Excellence?

My friends’ children were beginning to drive and I wanted them to have the benefit of the safety course I knew to be most effective.  Teen Auto Club was no longer available to them in person and their unique training system taught excellence in driving quickly and permanently.


What will readers get out of your book?

The driving habits put in place to automatically prevent 95% of all causes of collisions. This is critical to understand. The most common mistakes made that lead accidents can be understood, and habits put in place so that when that mistake is made by another driver, the driving skills will be there to prevent collisions. 

The habit of always checking your blind spot when changing lanes, for example, can stop you from moving over into a vehicle riding in your blind spot.  By the same token, never riding in someone’s blind spot can prevent them from changing lanes into you. 

By turning that skill into an automatic habit – one you no longer have to think about because you do it automatically -- you eliminate the #1 cause of accidents on surface streets and #2 on the freeways, if you take intersections out of the equation where most accidents happen.

How did you come up with the ideas in Skills for Driving Excellence?

I had been wanting to preserve the core program of Teen Auto Club after it shut down because it was a major contributor to the lives of students we prepared for the number one cause of death until the age of 44 from Santa Barbara to San Diego. 

Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing Skills for Driving Excellence?

Doing the program justice was the biggest hurdle.  We aren’t with the students, one-to-0ne anymore so we aren’t able to adjust the training to fit the students’ understanding.  I had to be precise and clear in the instructions when teaching the skills.  The skill lessons needed to be fully understood.  I believe I’ve achieved that.

What do you like to do when not writing?

I teach people how to use computers although I’m not doing that much anymore.  I have a few books in my head that I want to get out on paper[ or ‘ e-paper’ bowing to the great electronic miracle of e-publishing]. I started my own publishing company to get around the antiquated book publishing syndicates.

Now, I like to travel and occasionally get into my children’s business not so much to annoy them but to enjoy their annoyance.  No, really, I like being with family and friends.


Where can readers find out more about your work?

I hope to continue to build my publishing company at

Readers can start there.  Alternatively, they can email me their questions at