Shame on AAA - Listener Letters

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Shame on AAA: Letters

Car Talk's Original Rant

Read about AAA's Reply

Read Press Release

To quote from my letter to AAA:

I want to thank AAA management for funding and publishing the recent study on cell-phone usage while driving. I particularly want to congratulate J. Scott Osberg on his response to those two radio clowns, Click and Clack. Can you ask Scott where to send the get well cards after he has his driving-while-talking accident?

Bill Lazar

AAA has been heavily advertising its own cell phone to its members. It strikes me that the company has a financial interest in not having laws passed which would prohibit drivers talking on cell phones.

Kathleen Roso

Hey, it doesn't surprise me that AAA has a flawed study on accidents. I read an interesting article on who funds AAA and who is on the board of directors and how much "in bed" they are with big car companies and the folks that encourage road building and sprawl, while discouraging mass transit.

Don't get me wrong. I love my AAA Trip Tiks and towing service, but the big money comes from their cohorts who don't really care about the person driving or riding in the car--as long as they buy more cars and build more highways!


I not only am a cell-phone user, I sell them. I am also a victim. The only traffic accident I've been in during the last 20 years was the result of a cell phone in use [while driving]. I dodge cars every day with brainless cell-phone users jabbering away, totally oblivious to my presence.

If the bone heads at AAA would just drive around in any city in the U.S. they would see numerous examples of these abusive and inconsiderate drivers. How any responsible person can, in the face of a mountain of evidence, say it is a small problem is unfathomable.

This has to be the second most dangerous driving habit after drunk driving, and perhaps it is more prevalent.


I work in traffic safety and often find AAA's "safety" messages and positions on safety issues to be contrary to what is in the best interest of all road users.



From my letter to AAA:

If you want to discourage driver distraction and improve traffic safety, it would seem to me that you would want to discourage the use of cell phones while driving. Cell phones are a distraction whether that distraction is 8.3% or 12.9%. Dead is an all or nothing affair, percentages are meaningless.

By saying, "It might not be so bad," you are giving tacit approval to all forms of driver distraction.

M.E. O'Kiersey

As a member of AAA, a fan of Car Talk, and as a fellow Ph.D., I am frankly ticked off to think that AAA's Foundation for Traffic Safety may have done something which is so fundamentally unethical in the research community as misrepresenting the results of research. Your foundation should care about the safety of those of us on the road, and be taking an objective look at the data--not represent the bias of the "pro" or "anti"cell-phone lobby.

Dr. Clark

I guess I always thought the purpose of the AAA was to help me when my car broke down and to provide me with Trip Tiks! Instead, they've taken their members' dues and become a political group.

When I signed up for AAA, I didn't think I was funding a wacko group to oppose all transit projects, support all road projects no matter what kind of environmental impact, and support a bunch a crazies who think it's their God given right to endanger everyone while they order their pizzas at 70 MPH.

AAA clearly has a different mission than I thought and it's one I do not want to be associated with. Consider my membership cancelled!