What is AAA?
The American Automobile Association (AAA) is an automotive lobby group, service organization and vehicle insurance seller, which operate on a no-profit-no loss basis. Its headquarters are at Heathrow, Florida, USA.
History of AAA
The American Automotive Association was founded on March 4, 1904 at Cleveland, Ohio. It originally had a thousand charter members. The membership was formed from several local and regional motor clubs, which, after combining, became a powerful organization and a force to reckon with.
As this organization was in response for good roads and conveniences for automobiles and drivers, the first AAA road map was published in 1905. It started printing hotel guides in 1917. The first school safety program was started in 1920 and many driver safety programs followed suit. In 1947, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety was established.
The American Automobile Association used to sanction automobile racing in the United States till 1956 when it felt that this activity distracted it from its primary goals and hence the United States Automobile Club was formed for race sanctioning and race officiating.
There are several member clubs such as the California State Automobile Association, the AAA Northwest Ohio, and AAA Mid-Atlantic, the Automobile Club of Southern California, AAA Oregon/Idaho, Auto Club South and many others. These member clubs have a reciprocal service system so that members of any of these clubs can receive member services.
Functions of the AAA
•Primarily to provide emergency road services to members
•Lockouts, winching, tire changes, first aid, towing are all handled by local companies contracted by a state AAA.
•They have an automotive fleet division which serves large metro areas
•Some clubs have ‘on the go’ diagnostic/installation automotive battery program
•Distribute road maps and travel publications
•Rate restaurants and hotels according to a diamond scale of one to five.
•Sell automotive liability insurance, provide travel agency, auto registration and notary services.
•Offer member discounts at over 100 partners including hotels, rental cars, and others.
The AAA has reciprocal arrangements with several international affiliates and most member affiliates get the same benefits of AAA members in the US and they are offered equivalent benefits while traveling in the territory of the affiliate.
These international affiliates include
•The Automobile Association in the United Kingdom
•The Canadian Automobile Association in Canada
•The ADAC in Germany
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety aims at saving lives and reducing injuries on the roads. The Foundation, which was started in 1947, has funded more than 170 research projects designed to discover the causes of traffic accidents, prevent them and minimize the injuries if they happen.
The research has developed dozens of focused educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and other road users. Many agencies and clubs, driving schools and others look up to the Foundation to guide them in creating policies that can save lives on highways and roads, teach people how to drive more responsibly and teach children about vehicle safety.