September, 10, 2003 - 10:55 AM / ET

Hyundai Motor America Launches the ABCs of Traffic – 'Always Be Careful' 'Back to School' Traffic Safety Campaign
"Motor vehicle related crashes are the leading cause of death among Hispanics ages 1-34."

LOS ANGELES, CA--(HISPANIC PR WIRE - BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 10, 2003--Since 1990, the Hispanic population in the United States has increased by nearly 60 percent. The rapid growth of the Hispanic population is tragically reflected in an increasing proportion of Hispanic deaths and serious injuries resulting from car related accidents. Greater safety belt usage would significantly reduce unintentional death and injury in the Hispanic community and the nation as a whole. In addition, pedestrian accidents and fatalities, particularly in the state of California, affect Latino children in disproportionate numbers.

"As an auto manufacturer, Hyundai Motor America wants to keep families safe when operating motor vehicles and help reduce the alarming statistics among Hispanics related to automobile fatalities," affirms Donna Kane, Hyundai Motor America. In order to help save lives of the parents and children that are dying in car related crashes, and to promote healthy families and communities, Hyundai is launching The ABCs of Traffic Safety Campaign during the back-to-school season. The integrated effort includes in-school education through a partnership with Kid Guardian Foundation, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) School Safe Traffic Zone; community outreach efforts at key Hispanic events offering traffic safety clinics at Hyundai Safetyville; and partnerships with federal, state and local agencies, as well as non-profit organizations, to raise awareness and educate families on precautionary measures to help reduce the grave statistics of motor vehicle related fatalities among Hispanics.

As fall approaches with the commencement of "Back-to-School", drivers nationwide are faced with added traffic delays making it a critical time to: remind drivers, occupants, and pedestrians about proper use of safety belts and child restraints; promote safe driving by commuters particularly in reduced speed school zones; and ensure children have been properly instructed on crossing streets," states Ariel Garcia-Linares, Hyundai Motor America.

The campaign will educate Hispanics on the critical issue related to proper safety belt and child restraint usage to help ensure parents and children are properly secured on their way to and from school. In addition, the program will help build safer communities in relation to motor vehicle related accidents by helping to ensure that proper speed limits and awareness of pedestrians are adopted in school zones and local neighborhoods.

As an added precautionary measure, an in-school publication developed through a partnership with Kid Guardian Foundation, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the LAUSD School Safe Traffic Zone will educate children and their parents on pedestrian safety. The bilingual publication, produced and distributed in the Los Angeles DMA through La Opinion newspaper and K-3 classrooms throughout the LAUSD through the School Safe Traffic Zone office and all schools receiving the Sheriff's Department STAR Program (Success Through Awareness and Resistance) will provide parents and children with written stories on the subject and include lesson ideas for teachers to develop and carry out in the classroom. "Educating our children about traffic safety -- pedestrian and bicycle safety -- is one of the most effective and efficient steps we can take to eradicate child pedestrian fatalities. I join Hyundai Motor America, Kid Guardian Foundation and La Opinion in urging all parents and caregivers to study and share the Traffic Safety Magazine material with their children," comments Sheriff Leroy Baca, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

To further communicate the traffic safety message among Hispanic consumers, Hyundai Motor America will host traffic safety clinics in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department at schools in the LAUSD and STAR Program recipient schools, as well as at local community events and fairs. During the traffic safety clinics, Hyundai will provide bilingual informational literature and bring the ABCs of Traffic -- "Always Be Careful" to life at Hyundai Safetyville delivering the safety message to Hispanic adults and children.

About Hyundai Safetyville

Hyundai Safetyville is a 200 sq. ft. miniature city that includes a house, school, grocery store and playground all connected by a four-way intersection with realistic traffic symbols strategically located throughout the city. This mini-size city has been created to teach children, up to the age of 10, and their parents basic traffic safety lessons in an interactive and fun way, utilizing realistic scenarios most children would encounter in their lives. Each child receives a Hyundai Safetyville certificate upon completion of the Hyundai ABCs of Traffic.

About Hyundai's Hispanic Traffic Safety Campaign

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for Hispanics ages 1-34, and the third leading cause of death for all ages surpassed only by heart disease and cancer. Hispanics are also less likely to wear a seat belt. Nationally, in 1983 the seat belt use rate for all Americans was 14 percent and by 2000 it had increased to 71 percent; however seat belt usage among Hispanics lagged behind at 63 percent. Historically, the majority of passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes were not wearing safety belts. Research has shown that lap/shoulder belts, when used properly, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to critical injury by 50 percent. In addition, research on the effectiveness of child safety seats has found them to reduce fatal injury for infants (less than 1 year old) by 71 percent and toddlers (1-4 years old) by 54 percent in passenger cars.

The second leading cause of death and serious injuries to children in California is pedestrian accidents and 62 percent of all child pedestrian fatalities were Hispanic.

Hyundai Motor America's Traffic Safety Campaign focuses on educating consumers on the proper use of safety belts and child restraints, as well traffic laws and pedestrian safety. As the Hispanic population continues to increase, a greater proportion of future crash injuries and fatalities will come from the Hispanic community. The educational program will launch in Los Angeles to reach the nearly 8 million Hispanics and help make an impact and reduce fatalities related to motor vehicle accidents, including pedestrian related incidents.

About Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai cars and sport utility vehicles are sold and serviced by Hyundai Motor America through more than 600 dealers nationwide. For more information about Hyundai Motor America, please visit

For more information on traffic safety issues, visit the Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration website at


The IAC Group
Yvonne Lorie or Ariel Garcia-Linares