William L. Robinson, 76, a retired director of the American Automobile Association's traffic, engineering, and safety department, died Friday at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda after a stroke.

Mr. Robinson came to Washington and joined AAA in 1937. He served as a department associate director and was the author of several works on traffic safety, including "Sportsmanlike Driving," a high school drivers education text. He was named department director in 1967 and held that post until retiring two years later.

He was an honorary trustee of the AAA Foundation for Public Safety. He also had been active in the AAA Credit Union and the Prevention of Blindness Society.

He lived in Washington and Bethesda before moving to a farm near Gaithersburg. He entered the Potomac Valley nursing home in Rockville about two years ago.

Mr. Robinson was a native of New York City. He worked as a reporter in Florida and then moved to Pennsylvania, where he was editor of the Philadelphia Automobile Club's magazine. He came to Washington from there.

Survivors include his wife, Mabel L. Robinson, of Hollywood, Fla.; two sons, William L. Jr., of Greenbelt, and John W., of Rockville; a daughter, Doris Willard, of Alexandria; and a brother, a sister and nine grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form contributions to the Prevention of Blindness Society, or to a charity of one's choice.