As part of a new road safety campaign, the Australian government has been working with Melbourne sculptor Patricia Piccinini, a leading trauma surgeon, and a road safety engineer to create a human that could survive a car crash. So unless you look like this, you should stop using your damn phone at the wheel.
As trauma surgeon Christian Kenfield explains, humans are pretty bad at surviving any trauma. Graham has no neck, meaning he can’t break it; a flat, fatty face to protect his nose and ears; extra nipples between each rib to act as airbags; and a thick skin.
He’s also got features to save him if he were hit by a car. His bizarre, rabbit-like feet allow him to jump over oncoming cars, and his knees bend in all directions to prevent a broken leg.
Dr Kenfield says that Graham’s features are unrealistic for a reason. Even the world’s strongest man would be unable to hold himself in place during a car accident because the force is so great.
“The dangers of even low speeds such as 25,30, 35 kilometres an hour is quite great,” he said.
“The most significant part of body for injury is the head. So as the head stops the brain actually keeps moving forward, smashing against the front part of the skull and then bouncing backwards and getting an injury on the back of the head as well,”
Dr Logan, a road saftey expert at Monash University, added:
‘In the modern world we’re subjecting ourselves to much higher speeds, and the body just doesn’t have the physiology to absorb the energy when things go wrong.”
“A crash is about managing energy so when we’re moving along the road we have energy.”
“When we suddenly stop the car because we’re in a crash that energy has to be absorbed by the car and by the driver.”
Graham will be on show at the State Library of Victoria until 8 August, and then he’ll be touring the country