The ADAC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club e.V.) (General German Automobile Club) is an automobile club in Germany, founded on May 24, 1903, as German Motorbiker Association ("Deutsche Motorradfahrer-Vereinigung"), and was renamed to its present name in 1911.
With more than 18 million members in May 2012, it is the largest automobile club in Europe. It is also the largest motorcyclist association in the world, with 1.5 million members.
Both the ADAC, and its older rival AvD (the organizer of the German Grand Prix), are members of the FIA and the DMSB. The European Grand Prix, the former ADAC Eifelrennen, the 24 Hours NÃ¼rburgring and many other races are hosted by ADAC.
The ADAC also operates a large fleet of mobile mechanics in yellow cars that assist motorists in trouble - the Yellow Angels. The ADAC runs its own modification center whereby ordinary vans are turned into mobile garages (pictures only depict Ford Galaxies) in 55 man-hours.
In addition to this, the ADAC provides 44 air ambulance helicopters for urgent medical rescues in Germany, strategically placed so that any location can be reached within 15 minutes. Air ambulance jets are used by the ADAC to rescue their members with a "PLUS" membership or customers who own an ADAC international travel insurance from any location worldwide in the case of accident or extreme sickness. The ADAC also offers its membership to non German residents, having signed contracts with automobile clubs worldwide. In the UK, it is possible to have breakdown recovery through the local AA while having an ADAC membership.
The ADAC is publisher of the magazine with the largest distribution in Germany, ADAC Motorwelt. The magazine is also distributed (in German) to ADAC members outside Germany, features articles of common interest to all participants of public traffic, such as product tests, safe driving tips and also places to visit by car or motorbike.
On June 3, 2008, the ADAC suspended its involvement with the FIA over the scandal surrounding Max Mosley and his subsequent retention as FIA president.
The ADAC has reciprocal arrangements with a range of international affiliates, including
- The AA in the United Kingdom
- The AAA in the United States
- The RACE in Spain
The ADAC was founded on 24 May 1903 in Stuttgart's Hotel Silber (Silver Hotel), as the Deutsche Motorradfahrer-Vereinigung (the German Motorbikers' Association), with an annual membership fee of six Marks. Following a name change in 1911 it became the Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club The Prussian Eagle, which for many years was the main feature of the ADAC badge was chosen as the organisation's symbol in appreciation of the support received from the German Kaiser who was also Prussia's hereditary king.
The ADAC break-down assistance service was launched in Germany in 1927.
During the Nazi period, starting in 1934, all motorists' organizations and clubs were replaced by "Der Deutsche Automobil-Club e.V." (the German Car Club) which was closely associated with the National Socialist Motor Corps. After the Second World War the ADAC was re-established in Bavaria in 1946, and from 1948 it was also permitted to operate in the other western occupied zones which in 1949 would become the Federal Republic of West Germany.
In 1954 Heinz FrÃ¶lich became the first of (in that year) 56 ADAC patrolmen, equipped with a motorbike-sidecar combination, on which the side car consisted of a large compartment filled with tools and parts for roadside repairs. These original ADAC "Gelbe Engel" ("Yellow Angels") used "NSU Konsul" motorbikes.
At the end of 1962 ADAC announced the retirement of their motor-bike-sidecar combinations which would be replaced by 40 appropriately equipped Volkswagen Beetles. Equipment on the new cars included a flashing roof-light, repair tools, a radio-based communication device, compressed air canisters, a spade and broom set, and a basic "doctor-kit" incorporating blood-plasma.
In 1974 the organisation had 3.8 million members at a time when there were 19.0 million passenger cars registered in Germany: by 1990 membership had risen to 10.2 million, with 35.5 million passenger cars registered in the country, so that ADAC membership has grown more than twice as fast as national car ownership. Growth rates during the ensuing twenty years were greatly boosted by German reunification.
May 2012 was when the organization welcomed its 18 millionth member, a further milestone being reached in May 2013 as the ADAC fitted out its 10,000th roadside assistance vehicle, a Volkswagen Touran, kitted out with several hundred different tools and replacement parts.
EuroRAP in Germany
ADAC is an active member for the European Road Assessment Program (EuroRAP) in Germany. ADAC regularly publishes maps showing safety characteristics of German roads.
These maps based on EuroRAP's Road Protection Score Protocol (or Star Rating Protocol) is a measure of how well a road protects road users in the event of an accident. Data on road characteristics is gathered by driving through road inspections using a specially equipped RPS inspection vehicle (StraÃentest vehicle in German). Trained assessors then rate the safety features and hazards on the inspected road and use standardised formula to produce a safety ratingâ"star ratingâ"which is comparable across Europe.
ADAC also undertakes road inspections on behalf of other EuroRAP members, including the Road Safety Foundation in the UK.
Campaigning for Safe Road Design
The European Campaign for Safe Road Design is a partnership between 28 major European road safety stakeholders that is calling for the EC to invest in safe road infrastructure initiatives which could cut deaths on European roads by 33% in less than a decade. ADAC is the campaign's partner in Germany.
- Breakdown (vehicle)
- Breakdown Cover
- European Campaign for Safe Road Design
- The dictionary definition of ADAC at Wiktionary
- ADAC official website
- Early documents and clippings about ADAC in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics (ZBW).