Archive for the ‘Advocacy’ Category

Foundation Announces Research Priorities and Unveils New Website  

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 27, 2018) – Celebrating 70 years of research and education supporting the mission of reducing roadway crashes, injuries and deaths, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has unveiled a new website – AAAFoundation.org – focused on its four core traffic safety research priorities: emerging technologies, vulnerable road users, driver behavior and performance, and roadway systems and drivers.

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“For seven decades the AAA Foundation has been committed to addressing critical safety issues,” said Foundation Executive Director David Yang. “As vehicle technologies and the ways humans interact with them evolve, so will the Foundation’s research. With an eye toward the future, our focus is on improving road and vehicle designs to ensure all drivers get home safely at the end of the day.”

Since its founding, the AAA Foundation has funded several hundred projects to discover the causes of traffic crashes, prevent them and minimize injuries when they do occur. Early on, studies focused on young drivers, education programs and driver training techniques. Over the years, research expanded to include teen and older drivers, senior mobility, driver distraction and evolving road safety issues such as impaired driving.

Respected for both in-house research expertise and for its work with leading experts in North America, the Foundation’s work provides meaningful scientific insights into today’s traffic safety challenges.   Examples can be found at AAAFoundation.org and include:

  • Annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, first published in 2008, to benchmark and track key indicators of the public’s beliefs and attitudes toward traffic safety;
  • Center for Driving Safety & Technology’s In-Vehicle Infotainment Systems, which provides critical insight as industry and government grapple with the issues surrounding evolving vehicle technologies;
  • Longitudinal Research on Aging Drivers (LongROAD) project, a groundbreaking study tracking nearly 3,000 senior drivers as they age that will support in-depth studies of senior driving and mobility to better understand risks and develop effective countermeasures;
  • Impaired Driving and Cannabis, research findings that legal limits for marijuana and driving are not supported by science.

“The Foundation has been true to its mission to prevent traffic deaths and injuries through research and to educate the public ultimately to identify safe driving behaviors,” said AAA President and CEO Marshall L. Doney. “AAA is proud to support the Foundation’s work, and through our national and club professionals, to put the Foundation’s important research findings into action across the nation.”

AAA has applied research from the AAA Foundation to help strengthen laws, build public awareness of safety concerns and trends, inform automakers on safety design issues, and advise transportation agencies and highway departments on vital roadway improvements.

The Foundation’s enhanced website is in celebration of the 70th anniversary. Highlighting the four core traffic safety research priorities, AAAFoundation.org is a sleek, professional resource featuring the Foundation’s research and resources. Visitors can sign up to receive Foundation updates and learn more about research focus areas and the request for proposal process. 

About AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. Visit www.AAAFoundation.org.

Statement from AAA President and CEO Marshall L. Doney

AAA appreciates the president highlighting the importance of transportation infrastructure in his State of the Union address, but we had hoped he would take the opportunity to lay out a specific strategy to achieve his campaign promise of a largescale investment – $1 trillion total over 10 years – into our nation’s infrastructure. Roadways and bridges across the country need to be rebuilt and rehabbed.  Without significant investment, the situation will only worsen. We need to seriously address the state of transportation infrastructure in our country now because the safety and mobility of our citizens and the future of our economy depends on it.

Infrastructure is not a Democratic or Republican issue. However, the dilemma over how to pay for it has remained unsolved for decades. State officials have testified about the real needs on the ground and the shortfall of funds.  A thoughtful and modest increase in the federal gas tax, even just to match inflation, would provide an immediate stimulus to the Highway Trust Fund and help rebuild transportation in America, while giving our government more time to address long-term funding solutions to meet future transportation needs.

In order to adequately tackle the biggest problems facing our infrastructure, it is going to take cooperation and courage from many on both sides of the aisle. Now, it is time for our members of Congress to come together and show leadership by addressing the funding shortfall and providing a sustainable system for infrastructure maintenance and improvements. AAA will continue to support increased investment that will improve and modernize our nation’s infrastructure, and it is our hope that Congress and the president will eventually come together around that common goal.

 

Washington DC – The Alliance for Driver Safety & Security, also known as the Trucking Alliance, has adopted four truck safety technologies that the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety concludes are critical to reduce large truck crashes and saving lives.

A new AAA Foundation report, Leveraging Large Truck Technology and Engineering to Realize Safety Gains, examined the costs and safety benefits of installing four advanced safety technologies in large trucks:

  • Lane Departure Warning Systems, which detect when the vehicle drifts out of its lane and warn the driver;
  • Video-based Onboard Safety Monitoring, which utilizes in-vehicle video cameras and sensors;  
  • Automatic Emergency Braking Systems, which detect when the truck is in danger of striking the vehicle in front of it and brake automatically if needed; and
  • Air Disc Brakes, which are superior to traditional drum brakes.

While the AAA Foundation’s report acknowledges that “many large commercial fleets have begun equipping trucks with these advanced safety technologies,” the Trucking Alliance is the first U.S. carrier based organization to adopt these technologies as conditions for membership.

“These technologies can make the highways safer for our drivers and the public and why the Trucking Alliance carriers are installing them on new trucks,” said Steve Williams, president of the Trucking Alliance and Chairman/CEO of Maverick USA in Little Rock, Arkansas. “The AAA Foundation report shows how these automated technologies can help commercial drivers and motorists avoid accidents and return home safely to their families.”

The AAA Foundation report found that by installing automatic braking systems and air disc brakes on all new trucks, 7,705 accidents, 92 deaths and 4,200 injuries could be avoided. The report also projected that if onboard cameras and lane departure warning systems were installed on all new and existing commercial trucks, another 69,372 large truck accidents could be avoided, saving 408 lives and 24,105 injuries.

“AAA applauds the Trucking Alliance for taking such an important step toward improving safety on US roads,” said Marshall Doney, president and CEO of AAA. “Adding key safety technologies to fleets is critical if we are to reverse the growing rate of crash deaths on our roadways and we are glad to see the Trucking Alliance is making such a strong commitment to safety.”

The AAA Foundation noted that large trucks with gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds drove approximately 280 billion miles on U.S. roads in 2015 and were involved in more than 400,000 crashes, which resulted in 116,000 injuries and 4,067 deaths. Advances in technologies like those cited in its report can “provide the opportunity to prevent substantial numbers of these crashes, injuries, and deaths.”

“The trucking industry can’t be satisfied, until we dramatically reduce the number of injuries and loss of life from large truck crashes,” said Williams. “We must ensure that truck drivers are well trained, well rested, drug and alcohol free, and operating trucks with the latest technologies.”

“There’s no question that truck safety technology saves lives,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, in a statement related to the study. “This new research shows that the benefits of adding many of these technologies to trucks clearly outweigh the cost.”

Trucking Alliance carriers have adopted standards for membership to improve the safety of drivers and reduce accidents. The standards exceed federal requirements to operate as a motor carrier. The Trucking Alliance membership standards are:

  1. Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs)– Install certified ELDs or have Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRDs) in all interstate trucks, to verify hour-of-service compliance. (Effective December 18, 2017, the federal government will require all carriers to have AOBRDs or install ELDs in interstate commercial trucks)
  2. Truck Speed Limiters – Utilize truck speed limiters, set at a maximum speed of no greater than 65 mph.
  3. Hair Testing – Transition to hair testing to identify lifestyle drug users and opioid addicts, since hair tests are more reliable than the current federal pre-employment drug testing protocol for commercial drivers.
  4. Public Liability Insurance – Maintain liability insurance coverage that is significantly higher than the minimum federal requirement, to sufficiently cover the costs associated with injuries, fatalities and loss of property in large truck accidents, as Congress directed 37 years ago.
  5. Truck Safety Technologies – Install collision mitigation systems in all newly purchased Class 8 trucks, including 1) Lane Departure Warning Systems, 2) Onboard Video Monitoring, 3) Automatic Emergency Braking, and 4) Air Disc Brakes. 
  6. Driver Hiring and Training Programs – Utilize extensive pre-employment screening processes and conduct on-going driver training, which is not required by current federal regulation. 

About the Trucking Alliance:  The Alliance for Driver Safety & Security, also known as the Trucking Alliance, supports reforms to improve the safety and security of commercial drivers and to reduce large truck crashes. Member carriers, their rankings among the 250 largest US trucking companies (according to Commercial Carrier Journal) and headquarters are:  Swift Transportation (#3) in Phoenix, Arizona; JB Hunt Transport (#6) in Lowell, Arkansas; US Xpress (#16) in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Knight Transportation (#25) in Phoenix, Arizona; KLLM Transport Services (#35) in Jackson, Mississippi; Maverick USA (#74) in Little Rock, Arkansas; Dupré Logistics (#131) in Lafayette, Louisiana; and Cargo Transporters, Inc. (#174) in Claremore, North Carolina. Collectively, these companies employ 80,200 professionals, and operate 71,000 trucks and 220,000 trailers/intermodal containers to provide transportation and logistics solutions. More information at http://truckingalliance.org/

About AAA: AAA is a federation of affiliated motor clubs employing more than 40,000 people to provide services to more than 56 million members in the United States and Canada.

Tamra JohnsonDaniels-Carter becomes first African-American woman to lead board of venerable 115 year old organization

BOSTON (May 2, 2017) – Announced today, Valerie Daniels-Carter, co-founder, president and chief executive officer of V&J Holding Companies Inc, the largest female food service franchise in America, has been elected chair of the AAA board of directors at the 114th AAA Annual Meeting in Boston. More than 230 delegates and club officials representing the federation’s 38 affiliated clubs in the U.S. and Canada were in attendance. Daniels-Carter, the first African-American woman to hold the distinguished post, will serve as board chair for the 57 million member, not-for-profit federation for two one-year terms.  

“This is a historical time for AAA in that it really does reflect the fact that AAA is a brand that is more than a trusted, go-to resource for millions of drivers and travelers. It’s a brand that appreciates and is appreciated by diverse communities across North America,” said Daniels-Carter. “To be the first African American female to step into this role is important to me and the association. And while AAA is more than 100 years old, we don’t act 100. I’m taking over at an exciting time, when innovations are happening every day, where AAA is taking the lead.”

Daniels-Carter, who also serves as a director on the Green Bay Packers and various other corporate boards, has been active with AAA for 22 years both in her home state of Wisconsin and nationally. She has served on multiple board committees and, most recently as audit committee chair, leading the efforts to raise the association’s collective preparedness in cybersecurity. She was elected vice chair of the AAA board in 2015.

“As a visionary and committed AAA leader, Valerie will serve the organization well, building and expanding upon the trust our members have placed in the brand for more than a century,” said Marshall Doney, president and CEO of AAA. “Valerie has played an integral role in the AAA federation, putting her considerable business acumen to work on behalf of the organization and its members. And I know that as our new chair, Valerie will help ensure AAA remains a vital part of our members’ daily lives.”

A nationally known business leader, Daniels-Carter started her franchise empire with one Burger King restaurant in 1982 and built her company into a 137-unit, multi-brand organization. A talented basketball player in her own right, Daniels-Carter has teamed up with one of the NBA’s most famous and valuable players, Shaquille O’Neal, to expand the horizons of Auntie Anne’s Famous Pretzels. Together, they have opened 30 new locations nationwide.

“I view myself as a market innovator and I look forward to helping lead the ongoing innovation and the expansion of AAA,” continued Daniels-Carter. Along with electing Daniels-Carter chair, AAA elected as vice chair, William A. Mekrut of Lincoln, Rhode Island. And joining the board for a three year term is Anthony J. Buzzelli, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Incoming Vice Chair Mekrut is vice president of finance for FM Global, one of the world’s largest commercial and industrial property insurers. He was elected to the AAA national board of directors in April 2015 and has served on the board of AAA Southern New England, now AAA Northeast, since 2008. Additionally, he serves on the holding companies affiliated with AAA Northeast – AAA Motor Club Holdings and Red Rooster Investment Company. Mekrut earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Providence College and a master’s degree from Bryant University.

Daniels-Carter has been awarded a number of distinguishing honors including the Business Woman of the Year Frazier Network; Northwood University, Distinguished Business Leader Award; Trailblazer Award from North Milwaukee State Bank; Entrepreneurial Spirit Award presented at the Multicultural Prism Awards; Essence magazine’s Top 10 Black Female Entrepreneurs; and Black Enterprise magazine’s Women of the B.E. 100. Her company, V & J has received awards such as the Top 500 Women-Owned Businesses (Working Woman Magazine); Top 200 Restaurants in the U.S. (Restaurant Finance Monitor); and numerous other accolades, both locally and nationally.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 57 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Jeanette CasselanoAAA urges Trump Administration to focus infrastructure package on deteriorating roadways

WASHINGTON (May 2, 2017) – Key roadway improvements have the potential to save 63,700 lives and prevent 353,560 serious injuries over a 20-year period, according to a new report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. With the U.S. ranked nearly last among high-income nations in annual traffic fatalities, which continue to rise, AAA urges the Trump Administration to make repairing and maintaining America’s roadways a top priority.

Additional Resources

“We can save tens of thousands of lives and make our roadways safer by investing in improvements that we already know exist,” said Dr. David Yang, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety executive director. “Now is the time to act by targeting limited resources where they will have the greatest impact.”

With an investment of $146 billion, the report recommends six cost-effective roadway improvements with the greatest potential to reduce both the likelihood and consequences of crashes: (the below improvements account for 95 percent of anticipated crash reduction):

  1. Convert key intersections into roundabouts (nearly 30 percent)
  2. Install roadside barriers and clear roadside objects (nearly 20 percent)
  3. Add sidewalks and signalized pedestrian crossing on majority of roads (nearly 20 percent)
  4. Install median barriers on divided highways (14 percent)
  5. Install shoulder and centerline rumble strips (nearly 9 percent)
  6. Pave and widen shoulders (nearly 3 percent)

“We must invest in infrastructure improvements that not only account for today’s needs, but also prioritize needs for the future, including the potentially lifesaving technology of autonomous vehicles,” said AAA President and CEO Marshall L. Doney.

Current investments in highway infrastructure improvements in the U.S. are substantially lower than what is necessary to fix the nation’s aging roads and bridges. While the $146B investment outlined in the report will have a significant national-level impact, increased investment is required at all levels of government to prevent an infrastructure crisis. AAA recommends state and local governments take action to:

  • Prioritize safer highway design, improve road conditions and eliminate roadside hazards;
  • Align highway and street improvements with priority needs; and
  • Fund effective, ongoing clean-up of roadway debris.

“Highway infrastructure investments play a prominent role in our national strategy to decrease traffic fatalities and serious injuries,” said Doney. “Paired with other transportation improvements and safety programs – including technology advancements, stronger traffic laws, increased enforcement, effective public education and better emergency medical services – these investments will move the U.S. closer to our goal of zero deaths on the roadways.”

For the study, the potential safety benefits and costs of investments in highway infrastructure improvements were derived by projecting benefits and costs of highway infrastructure improvements estimated in previous studies onto all roads of the same types nationwide.

About AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research is used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Visit www.AAAFoundation.org .

About AAA: As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 57 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

D+ Infrastructure is Failing American Drivers

March 9th, 2017 by Jessica Souto

Tamra Johnson

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Mar. 9, 2017): Statement by AAA President & CEO Marshall Doney:

“Today the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) issued their latest Infrastructure Report Card showing that we continue to neglect our nation’s growing infrastructure needs. This year’s report card gives America’s roads a “D” and bridges a “C+”. More than 35,000 lives were lost in vehicle crashes last year alone and failing roads and bridges are only making American drivers more unsafe behind the wheel.

It is time to reverse this trend. AAA believes that an increase to the federal gas tax remains the most viable near-term solution to provide for additional infrastructure funding, but recognizes that all alternatives need to be a part of the discussion. ASCE’s report card is a reminder that while infrastructure improvements are underway, there remains a backlog of projects that need to be addressed immediately. The President has acknowledged the national importance of infrastructure investment.  AAA urges policymakers and the Administration to lay out a long-term funding strategy to repair and maintain America’s roadways so that we can improve driver’s safety and mobility today and well into the future.”

 

Michael Green Contact Tile

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 28, 2017) AAA’s President and CEO, Marshall Doney, has issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s comments about infrastructure during his first address to a joint session of Congress:

“Tonight, AAA is pleased that President Trump has highlighted the pressing need to improve our nation’s aging infrastructure systems. Cooperation from policymakers on both sides of the aisle will be critical in identifying a long term funding strategy to support and improve a transportation system that reduces congestion, improves roads and helps to keep everyone on the road safer.

A strong and robust transportation system supports the nation’s economy and provides Americans with more choices on where to live, work and engage with their communities. The Federal Highway Administration recently revealed that drivers are logging more miles on the road than ever before. This trend only highlights the growing demands facing America’s roads, bridges and tunnels in the future and justifies the need for greater investment in transportation infrastructure today. Funding the nation’s transportation system might very well require a variety of alternative options and new financing proposals that have yet to be fully evaluated. AAA looks forward to working with the president and members of both parties in the House and Senate to ensure that America’s infrastructure system is safe, reliable and efficient.

Michael Green Contact Tile

(WASHINGTON, January 31, 2017) AAA’s President and CEO, Marshall Doney, has issued the following statement in response to the confirmation of Elaine Chao as U.S. Transportation Secretary:

“I commend the Senate for moving swiftly to confirm Elaine Chao as the nation’s 18th U.S. Secretary of Transportation. Ms. Chao’s commitment to public service is commendable and her previous service at U.S. DOT will serve her well as she advances the department’s goals to enhance the safety, efficiency and accessibility of the nation’s transportation system. AAA stands ready to work with Secretary Chao to identify solutions for transportation safety and funding challenges and intelligent transportation systems, automation and other shared priorities. AAA firmly believes that significant, additional investments are needed to maintain existing infrastructure and to enhance the nation’s system. We look forward to working with Secretary Chao to ensure that our transportation system is safe, reliable and efficient, and that the nation remains globally competitive in a rapidly changing economy.”

ErinSteppExpert in traffic safety research takes the driver’s seat

WASHINGTON (September 12, 2016) – Dr. C. Y. David Yang, a leading expert in transportation and traffic safety research, has been selected to be the new executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Dr. Yang joins the Foundation after having served most recently as the Human Factors Team Leader with the Federal Highway Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, where he transformed the Human Factors Laboratory into a world-class research facility with state-of-the-art tools and top-notch researchers.

Additional Resources

“Dr. Yang is uniquely qualified to lead the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety as it heads into its 70th year,” said AAA Foundation Board of Trustees Chairman Mark A. Shaw. “The Foundation has established a strong reputation for important research that informs efforts to reduce traffic crashes, injuries and deaths, and I am confident that Dr. Yang’s experience and deep commitment to traffic safety will increase the Foundation’s impact as a leading safety research organization.”

Dr. Yang is well known and highly regarded in national and international transportation communities, chairing the Users Performance Section of the National Academies’ Transportation Research Board and serving on the editorial boards of two noted transportation journals. A prominent and award-winning transportation expert, Dr. Yang has published more than 40 journal articles, conference papers, and government reports on subjects related to transportation safety, operations, and Intelligent Transportation Systems. Dr. Yang earned his BS, MS and Ph.D. in civil engineering at Purdue University.

“I look forward to joining and working with the respected team of researchers at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in the near future,” said Dr. Yang. “I am proud to have the opportunity to lead this organization that is dedicated to improving safety on our nation’s roadways.”

“Dr. Yang assumes the leadership of the Foundation at an important time,” Shaw said. “The Foundation is conducting valuable research in areas including impaired and distracted driving, teen and senior drivers and other important topics,” continued Shaw. “Under Dr. Yang’s leadership, the Foundation will continue to provide innovative insights to increase the Foundation’s and AAA’s impact on safety.”

Established by AAA in 1947, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, publicly-supported charitable research and educational organization. Dedicated to saving lives and reducing injuries on our roads, the Foundation’s mission is to prevent crashes and save lives through research and education about traffic safety. The Foundation has funded more than 300 research projects designed to discover the causes of traffic crashes, prevent them and minimize injuries when they do occur. For additional information on AAA Foundation research and findings, visit AAAFoundation.org and NewsRoom.AAA.com.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 56 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Tamra JohnsonAAA Applauds Smart City Competition for Being a Catalyst of Transportation Innovation

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 23, 2016)-  Today the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) named Columbus, OH as the winner of its Smart City Challenge. AAA’s Managing Director of Government Relations and Traffic Safety Advocacy, Jill Ingrassia, has released the following statement in response to the announcement.

“AAA applauds USDOT, Vulcan Inc., all of the Smart Cities Challenge finalists and other partners for their commitment to improving the future of our country’s transportation system. Smart transportation is the fundamental building block of a smart city.  By leveraging new technology, data analysis, collaboration and innovation, cities like Columbus, Ohio will demonstrate smart ways to address our 21st century transportation challenges.  Congratulations to the city of Columbus and its partners.  We look forward to seeing the innovations that will make transportation in Ohio more integrated, safe and efficient.”

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 56 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.  Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

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