Meet Graham – the only 'man' whose body could survive a car crash

By admin
23 July 2016

This is Graham. And you would need to look something like him to survive a car crash.

Although he looks scarily realistic, he is merely a sculpture that was designed as part of a road safety campaign.

The campaign, run by the Transport Accident Commission of Australia (TAC), reveals in part just how fragile the human body is.

"As much as we like to think we’re invincible, we’re not," explains the Project Graham website.

"The truth is that cars have evolved a lot faster than what we have. The strongest man cannot hold himself from going forwards in a car accident.

"But what if we were to change? What if our bodies were built to survive a low impact crash? What might we look like? The result of these questions is Graham, a reminder of just how vulnerable our bodies really are."

In a press statement, Joe Calafiore, the CEO of TAC, said that Graham is "an educational tool that will serve the community for years to come as a reminder of why we need to develop a safer road system that will protect us when things go wrong."

The interactive sculpture was created by a team made up of a trauma surgeon, a crash investigation expert and a Melbourne-based artist.

They designed Graham with a "rather flat face" in order to absorb the energy of an impact.

As you might have observed, he also doesn't have a neck. This is because in the event of crash, "many parts of the body will continue to move due to the transfer of energy. The head is one of these."

So "there is not enough strength in the neck to stop the head from jolting forward in a crash."

"From my discussions I learnt that the neck was a real problem. So I just got rid of it," explains artist Patricia Paccinini.

Also, the sculpture was created with "with stronger ribs to give him better protection in a crash."

"His chest is large and barrel-like to withstand greater impacts. However, his torso is more airbag-like than armour-like," explains Dr David Logan on the interactive website.

As for his legs and feet, Graham has an "inbuilt defence", explains the TAC team.

"Strong, hoof-like legs with added joints allow him to jump out of the way quickly in a “spring-loaded” fashion."

Click here to interact with Graham.


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