AAA Celebrates 120 Years of Critical Traffic Safety Presence

AAA is known for its best-of-breed emergency roadside service, but deserving of even more awareness is AAA’s long-standing advocacy for the creation of better roadways, more educated drivers, and safer vehicles for all.

Since its inception in 1902, AAA has been the motorists’ voice in matters of legislation affecting highways and automobile travel. AAA played an instrumental role in securing the first federal aid for building highways in 1916. AAA also worked for years to promote the development of a nationwide network of superhighways, a goal that was reached in 1956 when the interstate highway system was established.

In addition, the AAA School Safety Patrol program was launched in 1921.

Today, AAA continues to champion the interests of motorists at all levels of government. We campaign for well-maintained roads and actively work to help keep taxation of motorists at a reasonable level. AAA supports a vast array of traffic safety measures, including legislation to curtail drunk driving; promote the use of child restraints and safety belts; remove unsafe drivers from the road; and restrict big trucks to roads that can safely accommodate them.

On a state level, the Ohio Conference of AAA Clubs was formed as a legal entity many years ago to facilitate collaboration and business partnerships between the independent clubs in Ohio and to serve our members’ common interests.

More recently AAA has been speaking out on impaired and distracted driving, demanding stronger seatbelt legislation across the country and lobbying for Move Over laws in all 50 states. Sadly, last year more than 60 emergency responders, including tow providers, lost their lives at the roadside and hundreds more were injured while tending to disabled vehicles.

Much of this work is supported by proprietary research conducted by AAA automotive experts and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Since its founding in 1947, the AAA Foundation has funded several hundred projects to discover the causes of traffic crashes, prevent them and minimize injuries when they do occur.

Forward looking, AAA is actively exploring the future of transportation. Here at Ohio Auto Club we are heavily involved in Technology Takes the Wheel, an educational initiative launched in partnership with The Ohio State University, Smart Columbus, Drive Ohio, Columbus State Community College and the Transportation Research Center. The innovative work underway by this group is exciting and I encourage you to watch past recorded seminars at and learn about the shared insights of next-generation transportation technology, including electric vehicles, delivery drones and smarter highways. AAA’s resilience, acceptance and adaptation to these new technologies will ensure our continued relevance in the transportation industry.

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