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AAA is similar to the NRA, in that it is a private organization of members.

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American Automobile Association
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Founded
March 4, 1902; 116 years ago
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

Headquarters
1000 AAA Drive
Heathrow, Florida, United States

Products
Maps, Travel guides, Car batteries

Services
Roadside assistance, Auto repair, Travelling, Motoring advice, Traffic safety, Others

Website
www.aaa.com

The American Automobile Association (AAA – pronounced "Triple A") is a federation of motor clubs throughout North America. AAA is a privately held national member association, and service business with over 58 million members

[1] in the United States and Canada.[2] AAA provides services to its members, including roadside assistance and others. Its national headquarters are in Heathrow, Florida.[3]

History
The American Automobile Association (the "AAA" or "Triple-A") was founded on March 4, 1902, in Chicago, Illinois, when in response to a lack of roads and highways suitable for automobiles,[4] nine motor clubs with a total of 1,500 members banded together to form the Triple-A. Those individual motor clubs included the Chicago Automobile Club, Automobile Club of America, Automobile Club of New Jersey, and others.[5] The Automobile Club of Buffalo joined in 1903.[6]

In 1904, the AAA merged with the very first American automobile organization, the American Motor League under the direction of the first chairman, Augustus Post.[7][8]

The first AAA road maps were published in 1905. AAA began printing hotel guides in 1917. The Triple-A began its School Safety Patrol Program in 1920, the first of the association's driver safety programs, which provided local schools with materials, including badges and ID cards[9] to train and organize students into a patrol force. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which conducts studies on motorist safety, was established as a separate entity in 1947.[citation needed]

AAA created an organization called the Racing Board, and later known as the Contest Board, in 1902 to officiate the Vanderbilt Cup international automobile race in Long Island, New York. The Racing Board sanctioned the Indianapolis 500 and awarded national racing championships in 1905, 1916, 1920–1941, and 1946–1955.[10] After the 1955 Le Mans disaster, AAA decided that auto racing distracted from its primary goals, and the United States Automobile Club was formed to take over the race sanctioning/officiating. In 2005, AAA re-entered racing as a sponsor of ISC-owned tracks. In 2006, AAA's foray into racing expanded when it made a three-year commitment to sponsor Roush Racing's number 6 car on the NASCAR Nextel Circuit


In 1935, AAA published Sportsmanlike Driving, the first course outline for high school teachers. In 1936, AAA published the first driver education curriculum for use in high schools (also titled Sportsmanlike Driving, now known as Responsible Driving).[11] AAA has updated its driver training courses throughout the years and many clubs currently offer their own driving schools, or work with other companies to provide AAA’s driving curriculum.[12]

Knowing that vehicles pose a hazard to pedestrians, in 1936 AAA began a pedestrian safety program with a grant from the Automotive Safety Foundation. AAA went on to commission and publish (1938) an extensive study of pedestrian safety for the purpose of reducing pedestrian fatalities and injuries. AAA’s Pedestrian Protection Program began in 1937 and focuses national attention on pedestrian safety needs by recognizing cities, counties and states that have demonstrated successful pedestrian safety programs.[13]

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety was established as a separate entity in 1947, and continues to conduct research related to traffic and pedestrian safety.[citation needed]

AAA has also provided services to the U.S. government in times of war. During the 1940s, AAA offered its services to the Advisory Commission of the Council of National Defense[14] in anticipation of becoming involved in World War II. AAA President Thomas P. Henry was appointed consultant in the transportation unit of the Defense Council, and AAA pledged resources, including highway information, to national defense planning efforts as it had during World War I.[15]

Reductions in manufacturing because of the war increased the need for conservation in automobiles and their related products. AAA's efforts at conservation included supporting the manufacture of synthetic rubber in anticipation of a war-related tire/rubber shortage, urging motorists to reduce their driving speed to conserve fuel (1942); and backing a scrap rubber campaign (1942). In 1944, AAA’s Keep 'em Rolling campaign sponsored a cross-country tour featuring cars equipped with synthetic tires. The tour demonstrated the reliability of tires made with synthetic rubber.[16] In doing its part to assist in the war effort, AAA placed its mapping facilities at the disposal of the Army department; conducted motor pool driver education (1943); secured an order from the War Production Board that stopped the sale of certain anti-freeze solutions harmful to motors (1943); launched a campaign to alleviate a growing shortage of auto mechanics (1943); monitored tire and gasoline rationing (1943); and established, in cooperation with the Red Cross and military hospitals, a driver training program for veterans with artificial limbs (1944). AAA also assisted in the development of a manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and their operation during wartime (1942).[17]
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