By AAA of Western and Central New York
This month, AAA celebrates 120 years of advocating for safe mobility for drivers and travelers alike at the national level. Started in 1902 by automotive enthusiasts who wanted to chart the path for better roads in America, AAA has transformed into one of North America’s largest membership organizations, providing roadside assistance, travel, discounts, financial and insurance services to enhance the life journey of more than 62 million members.
“AAA was built out of a commitment by a few to advocate for safe, efficient roads and enhanced mobility for all,” said Marshall Doney, president and CEO of AAA. “People may know us for roadside assistance, but we are so much more than that. Today, AAA is a trusted voice consumers can turn to for all things mobility, travel and beyond.”
Throughout AAA’s storied history, the federation has been instrumental in pushing for legislation and training to improve roadway safety for everyone, whether for 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, developing driver education programs and the AAA School Safety Patrol program, speaking out on impaired and distracted driving, and demanding stronger seatbelt legislation across the country. Much of this work is supported by proprietary research conducted by AAA automotive experts and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
As one of the largest full-service travel agencies in North America, AAA recognized early on the importance of providing the public with trusted travel information. To serve this need, AAA created a suite of resources that are still synonymous with travel today, including the TripTik, the AAA Diamond designation and TourBook travel guides. AAA also developed a network of expert travel advisers who, for decades, have been instrumental in making dream vacations a reality for members across the country.
As AAA embarks on its 120th year, it stands among a small number of industry pioneers still in existence. Longevity of organizations has eroded over the years, impacted by economic depressions and recessions, mergers and technological disruptions. For example, in 2020, the average lifespan of an S&P 500 company was just over 21 years.
At AAA, the first 120 years are only the beginning. AAA, a pioneer from day one, continues to evolve to meet today’s changing mobility and travel landscapes and to meet member needs. From digital transformations that improve the member service experience, to pilot testing mobile battery charging solutions, developing new and exciting travel tools and resources, and conducting research to understand consumer attitudes, frustrations or delights with things like vehicle automation or Mobility on Demand, AAA’s products, services and advocacy are geared toward enhancing our members’ life journey.
“AAA is a strong and resilient brand, and I’m excited about how we are positioned for the future,” said Tony Buzzelli, AAA board chair. “From roadside assistance to travel, AAA has evolved legacy programs and services, while pursuing new digital-focused initiatives that provide members more solutions to meet their needs.”
About AAA – to learn more, visit www.AAA.com.
Started in 1902 by automotive enthusiasts who wanted to chart a path for better roads in America and advocate for safe mobility, AAA has transformed into one of North America’s largest membership organizations. Today, AAA provides roadside assistance, travel, discounts, financial and insurance services to enhance the life journey of 62 million members across North America, including 56 million in the United States. To learn more about all AAA has to offer or to become a member, visit AAA.com.