AUSTIN, Texas - Three teens lost their lives in crashes in Austin last year during what is called the 100 Deadliest Days for teen drivers.
Just as this time period kicks in, a new traffic study has been released showing alarming new data.
"Every single day I live with this grief and every single day I wonder where he would be at and what he would be doing? I don't want anyone else to go through that,” said mom Gina Newton.
Newton lost her son Andrew three years ago when the driver of a vehicle he was riding in lost control and crashed into a tree on Barton Hills Drive in South Austin.
"He was one month shy of graduation from high school. He was 18,” she said.
Andrew wasn't the only one to die. The 17-year-old driver also lost her life. Another passenger was injured.
Andrew planned to attend St. Edward's University with his friend Carlos Alpuche.
"It was just unimaginable that something like this would happen,” said Alpuche. “I just couldn't stop crying. This was my best friend who passed away."
Newton shared her story as AAA announced the start of what the agency calls the 100 Deadliest Days of summer.
"It's over these summer months when the average number of deadly teen driver crashes climbs 15 percent compared to the rest of the year,” said Anne O’Ryan, AAA Texas/New Mexico public affairs.
A new AAA study shows deaths went up by more than 10 percent from the previous year. New teen drivers are three times more likely than adults to be involved in a deadly crash. The factors for crashes include distraction, not buckling up and speeding.
Read the full report here: http://newsroom.aaa.com
Speeding was what lead to Andrew's death.
"Reports say she was going between 80 and 100,” said Newton.
Newton recently formed a non-profit called Andrew's Choice in hopes of saving other kids. She says limiting the number of teens in a car is key as well as knowing who your teen is getting in the car with.
"Not only did she make a choice to drive fast, my son and his best friend made the choice to get into the car. So it's all about choices that these teens make," said Newton.
"Please take the time to sit down and talk to your kids about the dangers of driving especially distracted driving and please have them make a pledge to you to keep not just you and your family safe but all of us safe in the City of Austin,” said APD Assistant Chief Frank Dixon.
Create a teen driver, parent agreement here: https://aokdrivingschool.com