Our History

Establishment of the Foundation

One of AAA’s main concerns was keeping roadways safe. The organization started one of its first traffic safety initiatives in 1922 when it launched the school safety patrol program. That prompted other safety-related programs, including a landmark effort to reverse the soaring pedestrian fatality rate during the 1930s. With the surge in the number of people and cars in the United States, AAA knew that it would need to expand such traffic safety efforts but recognized that it couldn’t stretch its annual safety budget further. So AAA started exploring plans for an independent foundation that could solicit its own tax-exempt donations for traffic safety programs.

On November 5, 1947, six AAA board members and staff met at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. to incorporate the new AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. In the coming months, the Foundation’s board started selecting key AAA projects – mainly related to safety patrols and driver education. The Foundation expanded its work considerably during the 1950s and early 1960s through funding films, television shows, and research, and since then, has gone on to shape Americans’ understanding of traffic safety.


Highlights Through the Years

Animation and Video Showcase

From animated to live-action, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has produced a multitude of educational films from the 1950s to 1990s. To celebrate this history, the Foundation has embarked on a task to digitize and share some of its most popular videos.


To see other AAA Foundation productions, click here.