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The AAA logo

The AAA (pronounced "triple-A"), formally known as the American Automobile Association, is a 50 million member North American not-for-profit automobile lobby group, service organization, and seller of vehicle insurance. Its national headquarters are in Heathrow, Florida.

Contents

History

AAA 50th Anniversary US stamp, issued in 1952, promotes the School Safety Patrol

The American Automobile Association was founded on March 4, 1902, in Chicago, Illinois as a response to a lack of roads and highways suitable for automobiles. The organization originally had 1000 charter members, generally auto enthusiasts. AAA’s membership base is and was formed from 9 local and regional motor clubs that combined to create a more powerful organization.

The association expanded its services over the years. The first AAA road maps were published in 1905, and AAA began printing hotel guides in 1917. AAA began its School Safety Patrol Program in 1920, and many driver safety programs followed in the decades to come. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which conducts studies on motorist safety, was established as a separate entity in 1947.

AAA was a sanctioning organization for auto racing in the United States until 1956. It sanctioned many races, including the Indianapolis 500. 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.

Current operations

A typical AAA office
A typical AAA Car Care Plus center

Members belong to one of 69 individual clubs (such as AAA Northwest Ohio, AAA Mid-Atlantic, AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah, the Automobile Club of Southern California, AAA Oregon/Idaho, AAA Merrimack Valley or Auto Club South, for example), and the clubs in turn own AAA. The member clubs have arranged a reciprocal service system so that members of any participating club are able to receive member services from any other affiliate club. Member dues finance all club services as well as the operations of the national organization.

From the standpoint of the consumer, AAA clubs primarily provide emergency road services to members. These services, which include everything from lockouts, winching, tire changes, automotive first aid, and towing, are handled by private local towing companies contracted by a state AAA club. Many AAA clubs have an automotive fleet division serving large metro areas, while private towing companies cover the surplus call volume by area. Recently, certain clubs have implemented an "on the go" diagnostic/installation automotive battery program, which offers members an additional service to an ever more demanding commute. This is part of AAA's vision for the future of automotive services, termed "On the go".

Clubs also distribute road maps and travel publications (TourBooks), and rate restaurants and hotels according to a "diamond" scale (one to five). The best hotels and restaurants according to AAA's criteria receive the Five Diamond Award. Many offices sell automobile liability insurance, provide travel agency, auto-registration and notary services. Maps, TourBooks, and travel agent services are generally free to members. AAA also offers member discounts at places like Payless ShoeSource and LensCrafters, and in some regions Burger King, Pizza Hut and Arby's through its "Show Your Card & Save" program.

International affiliates

The AAA has reciprocal arrangements with a range of international affiliates. In general, members of affiliates are offered the same benefits as members of the AAA while traveling in the United States, while AAA members are offered equivalent benefits while traveling in the territory of the affiliate.

International affiliates include:

  • ARC Europe, encompassing the leading European clubs, including the AA (UK), ANWB (Netherlands) , ADAC (Germany), ACI (Italy), TCS (Switzerland), TCB (Belgium), OAMTC (Austria) and RACE (Spain) below.
  • The Automobile Association in the United Kingdom.
  • The Royal Dutch Touring Club ANWB
  • The Canadian Automobile Association in Canada (TourBooks and maps of Canadian places are published by AAA, and are distributed by AAA and CAA clubs using both AAA and CAA logos).
  • The ADAC in Germany.

AAA and motorist rights

The AAA has a mixed record with its support of motorist rights.

The AAA is known for occasional high profile motorist advisories of unreasonable traffic enforcement, such as when it rented a billboard to warn motorists of the speed trap town of Lawtey, Fl.[1]

However, the AAA has taken positions contrary to motorist rights. Prominent examples include:

The AAA is a supporter of the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act, first introduced in 2001 but which has not become law.

AAA and the environment

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Criticism

AAA's lobbying positions are perceived by some as hostile to mass transit and environmental interests.

Daniel Becker, director of Sierra Club's global warming and energy program, described AAA as "a lobbyist for more roads, more pollution, and more gas guzzling."[4] He observed that among other lobbying activities, AAA issued a press release critical of the Clean Air Act, stating that it would "threaten the personal mobility of millions of Americans and jeopardize needed funds for new highway construction and safety improvements."[4] "AAA spokespeople have criticized open-space measures and opposed U.S. EPA restrictions on smog, soot, and tailpipe emissions."[5] "The club spent years battling stricter vehicle-emissions standards in Maryland, whose air, because of emissions and pollution from states upwind, is among the nation's worst."[6]

Response

In response to these concerns, several competing organizations have emerged, including Better World Club. These organizations generally provide similar roadside assistance, trip planning and other services, in an environmentally friendly manner. This includes discounts for fuel-efficient vehicles and donations to environmental organizations.

Also as a response to the critics, the California State Automobile Association, a branch of AAA, set up a booth at the San Francisco International Auto Show to raise awareness regarding plug-in hybrid vehicles.[7]

Racing

The AAA was an early sanctioning bodies for racing in the United States.[8] It started sanctioning national championship and races in IndyCars, stock cars, midgets, etc. from the early twentieth century. It ended sanctioning after the 1955 Le Mans disaster and the United States Auto Club (USAC) began sanctioning these events.

List of AAA regional clubs

Club Headquarters Founded Territory Website
AAA Northern New England Portland, Maine Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont www.aaanne.com
AAA Southern New England[Note 1] Providence, Rhode Island 1900 Rhode Island: all
Connecticut: New Haven, Fairfield and Litchfield Counties
Massachusetts: Bristol, Middlesex, Worcester, Berkshire, Plymouth, Suffolk, Barnstable, and Norfolk Counties
www.aaa.com/aaa/240/sne/
AAA Allied Group
(Greater Hartford Area)
West Hartford, Connecticut Connecticut: Hartford, Middlesex, New London, Tolland and Windham Counties www.aaahartford.com
AAA Pioneer Valley West Springfield, Massachusetts Massachusetts: Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire Counties www.aaa.com/aaa/045/pioneer
AAA Merrimack Valley Lawrence, Massachusetts Eastern Massachusetts, and Salem, New Hampshire www.aaa.com/aaa/042/merrimack
AAA Hudson Valley Albany, New York New York state: Albany County, Villages of Waterford and Stillwater, City of Mechanicville in Saratoga County and all of Rensselaer, Greene and Columbia Counties www.aaahv.com
AAA Northway Schenectady, New York New York state: Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Schenectady, Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties www.aaa.com
AAA Western and Central New York Buffalo, New York New York state: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Cortland, Erie, Genesee, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Oswego, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, St. Lawrence, Tompkins, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates Counties www.nyaaa.com
AAA Southern New York Binghamton, New York New York state: Broome, Tioga and Chemung Counties www.aaa.com
AAA New York Garden City, New York New York state: Long Island, the five boroughs of New York City, and Westchester, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego, Schoharie and Herkimer counties, and parts of Lewis, Madison and Oneida Counties www.aaa.com
AAA North Jersey Wayne, New Jersey New Jersey: Bergen, Hudson and Passaic Counties www.aaa.com
New Jersey Automobile Club Florham Park, New Jersey New Jersey: Essex, Morris and Union Counties www.aaa.com
AAA South Jersey Voorhees, New Jersey New Jersey:Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties www.aaasj.com
East Penn Region
of AAA East Central
Allentown, Pennsylvania Pennsylvania: All of Lehigh County, and parts of Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Montgomery and Northampton counties www.aaaeastpenn.com
AAA Northampton County Easton, Pennsylvania Pennsylvania: Greater Easton area, the eastern municipalities and townships (Bethlehem, Bushkill, Forks, Lower and Upper Nazareth, Lower and Upper Mt. Bethel, Lower Saucon, Moore, and Williams) in Northampton County, and northeastern Bucks County www.aaa.com
AAA Reading-Berks Reading, Pennsylvania Pennsylvania: Berks County www.aaa.com
AAA North Penn Scranton, Pennsylvania Pennsylvania: Lackawanna, Monroe, Lycoming, Wayne, Bradford, Susquehanna, Pike, Tioga, Wyoming, Potter and Sullivan Counties www.aaa.com
AAA Central Penn Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Pennsylvania: Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, and Perry Counties www.aaa.com/aaa/195/web
AAA Susquehanna Valley Sunbury, Pennsylvania Pennsylvania: Northumberland, Union and Snyder Counties, except West Beaver Township and McClure www.aaa.com
AAA Southern Pennsylvania York, Pennsylvania Pennsylvania: York, Franklin, Fulton, Bedford, Clearfield, Cambria, Clinton, Centre, northern Somerset and western Cumberland Counties www.aaa.com/aaa/238/reed
AAA Schuylkill County Pottsville, Pennsylvania Pennsylvania: Schuylkill County www.aaa.com
AAA Mid-Atlantic Wilmington, Delaware Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C., and parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey www.aaamidatlantic.com
AAA Tidewater Virginia Virginia Beach, Virginia www.aaatidewaterva.com
AAA Carolinas Charlotte, North Carolina North Carolina and South Carolina www.aaacarolinas.com
Auto Club South Tampa, Florida Florida, Georgia, Middle and West Tennessee, and Puerto Rico www.aaasouth.com
AAA Alabama Birmingham, Alabama Alabama www.aaa.com
AAA East Tennessee Knoxville, Tennesee Tennessee: Anderson, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Carter, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Loudon, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Polk, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sevier, Sullivan, Unicoi, Union and Washington Counties www.aaaet.com
AAA Allied Group
(Bluefield Region)
West Virginia: McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, Summers, Wyoming Counties
Virginia: Bland, Buchanan, Dickenson, Giles, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, Wise Counties and City of Norton
www.aaabluegrass.com
AAA Allied Group
(Bluegrass Region)
Lexington, Kentucky Kentucky: Bath, Bell, Bourbon, Boyd, Boyle, Breathitt, Carter, Clark, Clay, Elliott, Estill, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Garrard, Greenup, Harlan, Jackson, Jessamine, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lincoln, Madison, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, Menifee, Mercer, Montgomery, Morgan, Nicholas, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Scott, Whitley, Wolfe, Woodford Counties www.aaabluegrass.com
AAA Allied Group
(Southern West Virginia)
Charleston, West Virginia West Virginia: Boone, Clay, Fayette, Greenbrier, Kanawha, Nicholas and Raleigh counties www.aaaswva.com
AAA East Central[Note 2] Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1900 Parts of Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia www.aaacentral.com
Akron Auto Club Akron, Ohio Ohio: Summit County (except Barberton) www.aaa.com
Ohio Auto Club Worthington, Ohio Ohio: Allen, Auglaize, Belmont, Butler, Carroll, Coshocton, Crawford, Delaware, Erie, Fairfield, Franklin, Guernsey, Hardin, Harrison, Holmes, Knox, Licking, Logan, Madison, , Marion, Medina, Mercer, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Perry, Pickaway, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Stark, Summit, Union, Van Wert, Wayne, Wyandot Counties www.aaaohio.com
AAA Allied Group
(Cincinnati Tri-State Area)
Cincinnati, Ohio Ohio: Brown, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton and Warren Counties
Kentucky: Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Carroll, Fleming, Gallatin, Grant, Harrison, Kenton, Lewis, Mason, Owen, Pendleton, Robertson and Rowan Counties
Indiana: Dearborn, Franklin, Jefferson, Ohio, Ripley and Switzerland Counties
www.aaacincinnati.com
AAA Miami Valley Dayton, Ohio Ohio: Montgomery, Greene, Clark, Champaign, Preble and Darke Counties www.aaaohio.com
AAA Allied Group
(Miami County, Ohio)
Piqua, Ohio Ohio: Miami County www.aaamiamicounty.com
Findlay Automobile Club Findlay, Ohio Ohio: Hancock County www.aaa.com
AAA Northwest Ohio Toledo, Ohio Ohio: Lucas, Wood, Ottawa, Defiance, Paulding, Williams, Fulton and Henry Counties www.aaanwohio.com
AAA Michigan[Note 3] Dearborn, Michigan Michigan www.autoclubgroup.com/michigan/
Hoosier Motor Club Indianapolis, Indiana Indiana: Bartholomew, Benton, Boone, Brown, Carroll, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Decatur, Delaware, Fayette, Floyd, Fountain, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Harrison, Hendricks, Henry, Howard, Jackson, Jasper, Jennings, Johnson, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Newton, Orange, Owen, Parke, Pulaski, Putnam, Rush, Scott, Shelby, Starke, Sullivan, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Union, Vermillion, Vigo, Warren, Washington and Wayne Counties www.aaahoosier.com
Chicago Motor Club[Note 3] Aurora, Illinois Illinois: Adams, Boone, Brown, Bureau, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Clay, Coles, Cook, Crawford, Cumberland, De Witt, DeKalb, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Fulton, Grundy, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Jasper, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Lake, Lawrence, Lee, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Menard, Mercer, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Peoria, Piatt, Pike, Putnam, Richland, Rock Island, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell, Vermillion, Warren, Whiteside, Will, Winnebago and Woodford Counties
Indiana: Adams, Allen, Blackford, Cass, DeKalb, Elkhart, Fulton, Grant, Huntington, Jay, Kosciusko, LaPorte, Lagrange, Lake, Marshall, Miami, Noble, Porter, Randolph, St. Joseph, Steuben, Wabash, Wells, and Whitley Counties
www.autoclubgroup.com/chicago/
AAA Wisconsin[Note 3] Madison, Wisconsin Wisconsin www.autoclubgroup.com/wisconsin/
AAA Minnesota/Iowa[Note 3] Burnsville, Minnesota Iowa: all
Minnesota: Aitkin, Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carlton, Carver, Cass, Chippewa, Chisago, Clay, Clearwater, Cook, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Dakota, Dodge, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Grant, Houston, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Jackson, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Koochiching, Lac qui Parle, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Lyon, Mahnomen, Marshall, Martin, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Norman, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Pipestone, Polk, Pope, Ramsey, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Rock, Roseau, Scott, Sherburne, Sibley, St. Louis, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wabasha, Wadena, Waseca, Washington, Watonwan, Wilkin, Winona, Wright, and Yellow Medicine Counties
www.autoclubgroup.com/mnia/
AAA Minneapolis Minneapolis, Minnesota 1902 Minnesota: Hennepin County, Columbia Heights, Hilltop, Fridley, & Spring Lake Park www.aaa.com
AAA Nebraska[Note 3] Omaha, Nebraska Nebraska www.autoclubgroup.com/nebraska/
AAA Missouri St. Louis, Missouri Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi
Kansas: Atchison, Brown, Doniphan, Johnson and Wyandotte Counties
Illinois: Alexander, Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Greene, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Jersey, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Massac, Monroe, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, St. Clair, Saline, Union, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, White and Williamson Counties
Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Knox, Martin, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties
Texarkana, Texas
www.ouraaa.com
AAA Allied Group
(Kansas)
Topeka, Kansas Kansas, except Atchison, Brown, Doniphan, Johnson and Wyandotte Counties http://discover.aaa.com/
AAA South Dakota[Note 4] Sioux Falls, South Dakota South Dakota www.aaasouthdakota.com
AAA North Dakota[Note 3] Fargo, North Dakota North Dakota www.autoclubgroup.com/nodak/
AAA Oklahoma Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Oklahoma www.aaaoklahoma.com
AAA Texas[Note 5] Dallas, Texas Texas, except Texarkana www.aaa-texas.com
California State Automobile Association San Francisco, California California: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado,

Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba Counties
Nevada and Utah: all

www.csaa.com
Automobile Club of Southern California Costa Mesa, California 1900 California: Inyo, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura Counties www.aaa-calif.com
AAA New Mexico[Note 5] Albuquerque, New Mexico New Mexico www.aaa-newmexico.com
AAA Colorado Denver, Colorado Colorado www.aaacolorado.com
AAA MountainWest Helena, Montana Alaska, Montana, Wyoming www.aaamtw.com
AAA Oregon/Idaho Portland, Oregon Oregon and southern Idaho www.aaaorid.com
AAA Washington Bellevue, Washington Washington and northern Idaho www.aaawa.com
AAA Hawaii[Note 5] Honolulu, Hawaii Hawaii www.aaa-hawaii.com

Notes

  1. The Automobile Club of Rhode Island merged with the Bancroft Automobile Club (based in Worcester, Mass.) in 1987 to form the AAA South Central New England. AAA Massachusetts (formerly the Boston Automobile Club) joined in 1996, and AAA Berkshire County in July 2004 to form the present AAA Southern New England.[9]
  2. The Cleveland Automobile Club (founded in 1900) merged with the Alliance Automobile Club, the Tuscarawas County Autombile Club, and others to form the Ohio Motorist Association in 1978. The Ohio Motorist Association (based in Cleveland) merged into AAA East Central on January 1, 2005.[10]
  3. The Auto Club Group, based in Dearborn, Michigan, operates AAA Michigan, AAA Minnesota/Iowa, AAA Nebraska, AAA North Dakota, AAA Wisconsin and the Chicago Motor Club.
  4. AAA South Dakota is part of AAA Oklahoma.
  5. AAA Texas, AAA New Mexico and AAA Hawaii are part of the Auto Club of Southern California Enterprise.

See also

References

  1. ^ Meenan, Kyle (2005). "Billboard Wars Over Lawtey As A 'Speed Trap'". First Coast News. http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/news-article.aspx?storyid=32199. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  2. ^ Fisher, Marc (2007-08-26). "Rage Over Driver Fees Has Va. Legislators Asking, 'Huh?'". The Washington Post: p. C01. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/25/AR2007082501223.html. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  3. ^ Rogalsky, Joe (2007-12-26). "Va. lawmakers seek stiffer penalties, arrests, prison for unlicensed drivers". The Examiner (Denver, Colorado). http://www.examiner.com/a-1123499~Va__lawmakers_seek_stiffer_penalties__arrests__prison_for_unlicensed_drivers.html. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  4. ^ a b Rivlin, Michael A. (Winter 2001). "The Secret Life of AAA". The Amicus Journal. http://www.transalt.org/files/newsroom/media/2001/010101amicus.html. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  5. ^ Nijhuis, Michelle (2003-02-11). "Road Warriors: A travel club provides a greener alternative to AAA". Grist Magazine. http://www.grist.org/news/maindish/2003/02/11/warriors/. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  6. ^ Silverstein, Ken (May 2002). "Smitten with a Club - Your AAA dues fuel pollution and sprawl". Harper's Magazine. http://www.betterworldclub.com/articles/Harpers2002may.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  7. ^ CalCars (2005-11-04). "AAA showcases CalCars at SF Intl Auto Show Nov. 19-26". Press release. http://www.calcars.org/calcars-news/190.html. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  8. ^ "Through the Years". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/Year.htm. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  9. ^ A Brief History of AAA Southern New England. Retrieved on 2009-08-04.
  10. ^ Pittsburgh, Cleveland AAA to merge. Pittsburgh Business Times, December 10, 2004. Retrieved on 2009-08-04

External links

  • AAA.com AAA's official Web site
  • AAA.mobi AAA's official Mobile site
  • Your AAA Use this page (enter a ZIP code) to get to the AAA Club for the area you are interested in

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