SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – New Year’s Eve can be one of the most dangerous times of the year on the road due to drunk driving. AAA is reminding people not to drink and drive and local restaurants are also preparing, making sure everyone gets home safely.

Eddie Gerasimchuk of Longmeadow says he’s excited to go out to ring in the New Year with family and friends, “Nothing too crazy, nothing too spectacular, just keeping nice, keeping it local and keeping it fun.”

Eddie like many other people will be hitting the roads to get to their New Year’s celebrations. But as the US hits a 15 year high for roadway deaths, AAA Northeast says people need to be cautious on the roads and to not drive drunk. According to AAA, during the busy holidays, like New Year’s Eve, the number of crashes, injuries, and deaths increase, and impaired driving is a major contributing factor.

At Nadim’s in downtown Springfield, they are preparing for New Year’s Eve night, expecting patrons to come out for a special dinner to celebrate. Owner Nadim Kashouh told 22News they don’t normally draw in bar drinking crowds but the staff is fully trained and prepared to see the signs if someone may have had too much to drink.

“We do take it very seriously. We keep our eyes on them. We make sure they are not driving. If they are driving, we gently cut them off, or otherwise we suggest they take an Uber ride or taxi to make sure they get home safe,” said Nadim.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says if you have a New Year’s gathering, make smart choices and plan out how you’re going to get home safely once the celebration ends. Make sure there is a designated driver, and if you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement immediately.

If you have a friend who has had too much to drink, make sure to take their car keys and find them a safe way to get home.