Hyundai Motor America Puts Women in the Driver's Seat for Safety

Lyn St. James and Southern California Women Turn Out for A Girlfriend's Guide to DefenSAFE Driving

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 9 -- Today at the Verizon Amphitheater in Irvine, Calif. sixty professional women participated in Hyundai Motor America's defensive driving seminar, A Girlfriend's Guide to DefenSAFE Driving. Racing veteran, Lyn St. James, the only woman to be named Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, and other top female drivers conducted the course that concentrated on three life-saving driving techniques -- threshold braking (extreme braking without skidding), trail braking (hard braking and steering) and skid control.

Safety on the road is more important now than ever before. In 2002, highway fatalities increased 1.5 percent from 2000, reaching the highest level since 1990. Traffic fatalities increased 10.6 percent in California from 1998 to 2002. The increase in total crash fatalities was due primarily to occupant fatalities (drivers/passengers) while non-occupant fatalities declined.

"Hyundai is the first company to conduct a seminar of this kind," said Lyn St. James, chief instructor. "Conducted completely by professional women drivers, for women, this event continues Hyundai's tradition of empowering drivers on the road."

Over the course of the day, participants learned braking and steering techniques that save lives. On specially designed driving courses, the women completed exercises that taught them the difference between braking in a vehicle with and without anti-lock brakes (ABS). Those who opted out of the behind-the-wheel lessons were able to enjoy a special safety station where they learned how to check tire pressure and wear, received information about Hyundai 4WD systems and more.

"Hyundai Motor America understands the influence of the female consumer, said Donna Kane, national manager at Hyundai Motor America. "Statistics show that women influence more than 80-85 percent of all vehicle purchases and account for more than 50 percent of car buyers."

Through its Power of the Purse program -- automotive empowerment workshops designed to teach women how to make more informed decisions about car buying and servicing -- HMA has shown its dedication to helping women during the car buying process. With this seminar, Hyundai takes its commitment to women one step further by empowering them on the road.

About Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai Motor America, based in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai cars and sport utility vehicles are distributed in the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 600 dealerships nationwide.

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