As soon as the first horseless carriages appeared on America’s roads, motoring enthusiasts began organizing automobile clubs. In 1902, only 23,000 cars were in operation in this country compared with 17 million horses. Yet, motorists had formed approximately 50 small auto clubs across the country. Nine of those clubs met in Chicago on March 4, 1902, to create a national motoring organization; the result was the formation of the American Automobile Association with 1,500 members. This organization’s primary purpose was to support driver’s rights and ensure safety, whether it be for vehicles or roads. As the organization’s popularity expanded, so did its coverage, including planning tools for road trips and roadside assistance, as well as offering insurance plans.
AAA Colorado was initially founded in 1922 under the name Rocky Mountain Motorists. As the number of motorists increased, it was evident that Colorado’s roads needed some significant improvement. The weather in the state didn’t help. Roads were either dusty in dry weather or muddy in the rainy season. With only two paved highways at the time, AAA realized that change was needed. One of its main objectives was to secure investors to support the transportation infrastructure, including developing more paved highways to support its state’s drivers. Additionally, AAA Colorado started numbering Colorado’s state highways, still in existence today.