What It Means To Put A Red Pumpkin On Your Porch

Halloween means different things to different folks, but we know that every October 31, roaming packs of children swarm the neighborhood to locate and consume as much candy as humanly possible. Kids who are old enough usually go trick-or-treating at night without their parents since it's unquestionably more fun that way. While we largely trust they'll be fine, we know that personal safety is important during big celebrations, especially when your kids are out in the dark by themselves. But alongside this lighthearted sugar-fest, unfortunately, there's an increase in car accidents on Halloween. To raise awareness of this issue, a campaign has sprung up that involves neighbors placing red pumpkins at their front door. Safety is at the root of this effort; when you display a red pumpkin on your porch, you're reminding people not to drink and drive on Halloween.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving, MADD for short, created the Red Pumpkin Project as a way to remind anyone who likes to party on Halloween to stay sober or at least handle transportation by agreeing on a designated driver. MADD's primary mission is to end drunk driving and prevent underage drinking. Placing a red pumpkin next to all your other outside Halloween d├ęcor is a way to send a message that helps trick-or-treaters feel safe and educates the public.

Making the most out of the Red Pumpkin Project

MADD's campaign is rooted in facts; Halloween comes in at number seven out of the ten deadliest holidays to get behind the wheel. The statistics on car accidents from drunk driving change depending on what day of the week Halloween falls, with Friday and Tuesday being the most dangerous. You might be as surprised as we were to learn that the holiday results in more drunk-driving crashes than on New Year's Eve. Yikes! If we're going to overindulge as adults on Halloween, maybe it's best to stick to mountains of chocolate.

When you hand out candy to your trick-or-treaters, be prepared to explain what the red pumpkin sitting on your porch means to anyone who asks. And since MADD's mission includes discouraging underage drinking, what we strongly recommend is to have a frank talk with your own kids before they go out, especially teens. Tell them the main message behind red pumpkins is about staying clear-headed and alert because there's a very real increase in Halloween night drunk driving. Since you still want them to have a good time, offering guidelines without inducing fear is a good approach. And if you're not a parent, part of what the Red Pumpkin Project means is to think like one.