The Australian state of Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission (TAC) has launched a road safety campaign that shows what humans would look like if we had evolved in a way that enables us to survive high-speed vehicle crashes.
‘Graham’ is a full-sized interactive model designed and developed by Melbourne artist Patricia Piccinini (who was also behind the Canberra ‘Skywhale’ hot air balloon), Royal Melbourne Hospital trauma surgeon Christian Kenfield, and Monash University Accident Research Centre crash investigator David Logan. The TAC commissioned Graham as part of its Towards Zero road safety campaign.
"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," said TAC's chief executive officer Joe Calafiore
As you can see from Graham’s appearance, being able to walk away unscathed from a high-impact car crash would require quite a change to our biology. For a start, there’s no need to worry about breaking your neck if you don’t have one; that massive skull, filled with extra ligaments and fluid, protects the vulnerable brain; and while he’s not going to challenge Brad Pitt in the looks department, Graham’s flat features and excessive fatty tissue absorbs the energy of an impact to the face.
Graham’s also got airbag-like sacks sitting between his strengthened ribs to protect his vital organs, thickened skin across his entire body, an extra joint in his lower leg so he can quickly jump out of harms way, and knees that bend in all directions to make breaking them less likely. This guy could be a member of the X-men.
Graham will be going on show at the State Library of Victoria until August 8, after which he will be touring regional centers around the country. Visitors will be able to use Google’s Tango augmented reality technology to peer beneath his skin and understand how his unique features protect him. Everyone else can check out the full 360-degree view of Graham, along with descriptions of his strange body, right here.
Graham isn’t the first example of unconventional methods employed by Towards Zero. The campaign wants to embed traffic lights in Sydney sidewalks so pedestrians using smartphones are less likely to walk into the middle of a busy road.