ASHINGTON, DC (March 4, 2022) – This month, AAA celebrates 120 years of advocating for safe mobility for drivers and travelers. Founded in 1902 by automotive enthusiasts who wanted to lead the way for better roads in America, AAA has grown into one of the largest membership organizations in North America, providing roadside assistance, travel, discounts, financial and insurance services to improve the life course of more than 62 million members.
“AAA was created from a commitment of a few to champion safe, efficient roads and improved mobility for all,” said Marshall Doney, President and CEO of AAA. “People may know us for roadside assistance, but we’re so much more than that. Today, AAA is a trusted voice consumer to turn to for all things mobility, travel and beyond.
Throughout AAA’s rich history, the federation has been instrumental in promoting legislation and education to improve road safety for everyone, whether drivers, pedestrians, cyclists or first responders. This includes advocating for the creation of the Interstate Highway System in 1956, fighting for Move Over laws in all 50 states, and developing driver training programs for all ages. Last year, the AAA’s School Safety Patrol program celebrated its centennial. The School Safety Patrol program is the largest school safety program in the world. AAA regularly advocates for tougher impaired driving and distraction laws, as well as tougher seat belt wearing laws nationwide. Much of this work is backed by proprietary research conducted by AAA automotive experts and the AAA Road Safety Foundation on these same issues.
As AAA begins its 120and year, it is one of a handful of industry pioneers still in existence. The longevity of organizations has eroded over the years, impacted by economic depressions and recessions, mergers and technological disruptions. In 2020, the average lifespan of an S&P 500 company was just over 21 years. AAA, the original automobile club, has become so much more over the past 120 years, illustrating that the legendary organization is not just surviving, but thriving, as it enters the digital age.
“The fact that, 120 years later, our membership continues to grow is a testament to the fact that the organization continues to evolve in step with the needs of our members,” said Ragina Cooper Ali, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson for the Maryland and Washington, D.C. “What AAA members need right now is different even than it was a few years ago, so AAA services are adapting to meet those changing needs, which will be apparent to anyone who crosses our gates, interacts with us online or through our mobile app.”
Anniversary open days
AAA celebrates its anniversary by inviting members and non-members alike to experience new technologies and innovative travel planning solutions that will be on full display at our festive open house events throughout the region.
Enjoy snacks, giveaways and prizes while watching demonstrations on things like Digital TourBooks, Electric Vehicle Resourcesand Expedited Passport Services. AAA Travel Advisors will be on hand to help anyone considering travel who needs help navigating the ‘new normal’ – whether it’s exploring the possibilities of a Spring Break, a summer road trip or a more extravagant ‘revenge’ travel experience.
“As Americans prepare for what could be a busy summer travel season, AAA will welcome them with new technologies and innovative processes to ensure the best possible experience, prioritizing safety and savings, such as we’ve been doing it for 120 years,” Ali added.
Did you know?
While AAA is widely known for its legendary emergency roadside assistance, AAA-approved auto repairs and, in recent years, its AAA auto care, travel and insurance centers, our own members have expressed surprise at to the ever-growing list of AAA benefits and services.
Here are 9 new AAA services or benefits of interest:
- Expedited Passport Services – in partnership with RushMyPassport.
- Virtual Trip Planning – AAA members can work with an AAA Travel advisor without ever leaving home.
- Identity theft protection – ProtectMyID® is FREE for AAA members.
- Foreign currency – now available in select stores.
- Travel planning digital resources – digital tourist guides at hand.
- DMV Services – at select outlets during special events with DMVConnect.
- International driving licenses – available at all AAA outlets.
- TSA pre-clearance and passport application – special partnership events at select stores.
- Car loan and car purchase – online advice and services.
Some of AAA’s longstanding benefits are still our most popular. AAA continues to expand its discount and rewards partnerships so members save on car rentals, hotels, cruises, tour packages and amusement park tickets.
To learn more about AAA, visit www.AAA.com.