Humans have adapted and evolved to meet all sorts of challenges over the ages, but surviving a car accident is not one of them. Hypothetically, some version of modern man could survive a big crash, but he's certainly not pretty. Everyone, meet Graham.
Alright, lets get this out of the way. Graham is seriously ugly, but he's ugly for good reason. Created as an educational tool, he's designed to push the Victorian Traffic Accident Commission's (TAC) anti-speed message to students.
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"People can survive running at full pace into a wall but when you're talking about collisions involving vehicles, the speeds are faster, the forces are greater and the chances of survival are much slimmer," says TAC chief executive officer Joe Calafiore. "Cars have evolved a lot faster than humans and Graham helps us understand why we need to improve every aspect of our roads system to protect ourselves from our own mistakes."
The finished product was created by Australian sculptor Patricia Piccinini, who worked alongside a trauma surgeon and crash investigator. Instead of making Graham harder by adding armor to his body, the focus was on making him better at dissipating force.
For example, Graham's ribs are interspersed with airbag-style sacks to soak up force from a hard impact. The delicate bones making up his face are protected by masses of fatty tissue, and he's got no neck, so whiplash is no longer a concern. Even his skull has a crumple zone.
Graham isn't just designed to survive an accident from behind the wheel, he's designed to survive one as a pedestrian as well. With multi-directional knees, abrasion-resistant skin and that skull with built-in crumple zones, he's far better prepared to bounce off a car's bonnet than the average human.
The sculpture will be displayed at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. Students will also be able to look under Graham's skin using Google Tango AR in the classroom.
The TAC's explainer video is below.
Source: Victorian TAC