This Aussie can survive car crashes but won’t win beauty contests

What would a human look like, if we were built to survive car crashes? No we wouldn’t look like a Tesla S but we’d have a bigger head, smaller ears, a cushioned chest, stronger legs and arms. Unfortunately (or fortunately when you see what it looks like), human bodies have not adapted to survive car crashes.

Graham is project from an Australia’s Transport Accident Commission. He was designed to show how vulnerable the human body is to the forces involved in automotive collisions.

TAC worked with trauma surgeon Christian Kenfield, crash investigator expert David Logan andartist Patricia Piccinini, to create Graham – a lifelike, interactive sculpture.

Graham has been designed with bodily features that might be present in humans if they had evolved to withstand the forces involved in crashes.

When visiting Graham, visitors  have access to the latest immersive augmented reality technology.

The display includes a unique Augmented Reality experience, a first of its kind in Australia that uses Google Tango devices. Just hold up the device and watch as virtual information and videos appear over Graham’s body. It’s a richer and deeper way to discover what’s beneath his skin and explore the decisions behind his anatomy.

Dr David Logan has been a senior research fellow at the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) for the past 14 years, specializing in road safety with a focus on vehicle safety.

“I’m really interested in what happens to people as occupants of cars and also being hit by cars,” says Dr Logan. With decades of experience, Dr Logan has done a lot of work in road safety strategy development; “it’s not just about looking at the injuries to individual crashes and road users, but more trying to make safety better across the board”.

In the modern world people subject themselves to high speeds every day and the body doesn’t have the physiology to absorb the energy when things go wrong. Cars have evolved a lot faster than people and the human body is not equipped to handle the forces in common crash scenarios.

Life size sculpture of Graham who would survive a car crash but wouldn’t win beauty contests.