Andrew from Brooklyn, NY asks: What’s the history and background behind AAA?
AAA was founded in 1902 and despite the small number of cars on the road (when compared with today’s vehicles) there were already 50 motor clubs. AAA was formed when 9 of the clubs joined together in Chicago and the American Automobile Association was formerly recognized on March 4, 1902. This group was formed to advocate for motorists, vehicles, and safety. At that point in time, vehicles were just being developed which left plenty of room for improvement.
Roads existed for carriages, not cars. AAA was part of the fight for improved road quality, leading to safer roadways for motorists. They campaigned the government and federal aid was devoted to fixing America’s roads. Even today, AAA has continued to strive for improved roads and airways as well as consumer education. Campaigns like “Crisis Ahead: America’s Aging Highways and Airways,” have made a difference in federal funding.
AAA is most widely known as a roadside services program and as long as there have been cars, they’ve been breaking down. AAA was the first group to invent a service that helped stranded motorists. Now, AAA helps 29 million people on average. Additionally, AAA is concerned with keeping its member up to date with accurate travel information. This actually started 5 years after the group was formed. With the constant development of new roads, AAA began issuing its own maps and guidebooks. Today, the group offers continental and foreign travel services.
As the presence of cars increased, AAA became devoted to safety early on. AAA was responsible for school safety patrol programs as well as the implementation of traffic safety education in middle and high schools as well as driver education programs. AAA has been around for many years and continues to promote safety and education while offering a growing list of benefits for members.