About the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety was founded in 1947 by AAA to conduct research to address growing highway safety issues. The organization’s mission is to identify traffic safety problems, foster research that seeks solutions and disseminate information and educational materials. 

Entering construction zone mergeThe Foundation has funded over 250 projects designed to discover the causes of traffic crashes, prevent them, and minimize injuries when they do occur. Knowledge is the first step to becoming a better driver. The Foundation's studies have shown that understanding the risks of driving and one's own limitations can prevent crashes. The Foundation's materials seek to give drivers new skills, sharpen old ones, and change attitudes as the first step to changing behaviors. Additionally, AAAFTS research is used to create focused, high-impact educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and road users of all ages. 

AAAFTS has grown considerably during the past six decades. Initially emphasizing projects related to safety patrols and driver education, today the Foundation is recognized as a leader in traffic safety, being cited for its landmark studies on distracted driving and creating a conversation on traffic safety culture publishing its annual safety culture survey. Over time the Foundation has expanded its scope and diversified areas of concentration while still focusing on AAA priority issues which include senior safety and mobility, teen driving, road safety and safety culture.  

This brochure spotlights research projects conducted since 2001.

Mission Statement

 "To identify traffic safety problems, foster research that seeks solutions, and disseminate information and educational materials."

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's mission statement provides the framework for all of its research serves as the guide during the research identification and selection process. 

Foundation News

Back to Top

Our Structure

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Organizational Chart

Back to Top

To contact any of our staff by phone, please dial 202-638-5944 or email info@aaafoundation.org.

Board of Trustees

The AAA Foundation Traffic Safety is led by a Board of Trustees comprised of the following individuals.


Mark A. Shaw, Chairman (2018)
Tom McKernan, Vice Chairman (2018)
Don Gagnon, Secretary (2017)
Kathleen Bower, Asst. Secretary (2017)
Kenneth Johnson, Treasurer (2019)
Suzanne Bennett, Asst. Treasurer (2017)


Valerie Daniels-Carter*
Bob Darbelnet (2019)
David Hughes (2019)
Don Main*
Carol Ormond (2017)
Joe Richardson (2019)
Paul Petrillo, Chair Emeritus (2018)
Mark H. Shaw (2017)

*Ex-Officio Members
( ) Signifies Term End Date

Foundation Oversight

The Foundation's funds come from many sources. As an IRS-certified, tax-exempt, not-for-profit charitable organization (section 501(c)(3)), it is funded by voluntary, tax deductible contributions from motor clubs associated with the American Automobile Association and the Canadian Automobile Association, individual AAA club members, insurance companies, and other individuals or groups, often as a memorial to a family member or friends.

Audited Financials










Back to Top 


Annual Report

 2013 - 2014