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Who Is Graham and How Can He Survive a Car Accident?


As a species, the human race is accustomed to the constant need to adapt in order to survive various dangers. Whether we rely on new technologies to mitigate the dangers we face daily and give us the natural armor that many animal species already have, it is clear that survival is a number one priority to all humankind.

Still, with all the technology at our disposal, what we have not yet succeeded in was involving our physique and developing our bodies to the level where it can naturally protect us and help us avoid many dangers, we ourselves are the cause of.

One such danger is a motor vehicle accident, and it is almost prophesied now that every person in the world will have at least one car accident in their life. Here, the brilliance of the human mind and ingenuity did all it could do to keep us safe from and in car accidents. But no matter how advanced technology gets, it is not and never will be perfect.

Car accident forces of impact increased by the speed of the vehicle are just something we are not built to endure. Our bones, tissues, and organs may prove to be strong enough when running into a wall at high speed, but in car accidents, we are too vulnerable, and our chances of survival are quite small.

David Logan, a crash investigator at Monash University Accident Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia explains it really well- “The truth is that cars have evolved a lot faster than we have...In the modern world, we’re subjecting our bodies to much higher speeds and the body just doesn’t have the physiology to absorb the energy when things go wrong.”

A trauma surgeon at Royal Melbourne Hospital, Christian Kenfield, agrees and states that the injuries he witnessed that are sustained even at lower speeds are ''quite great''.

The collaboration of Logan and Kenfield and their work with the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) for the Australian state of Victoria was what ultimately gave us ''Graham''- an interactive sculpture depicting just how much we have to evolve to survive a car crash.

How to Become Graham?

At a first glance, Graham does look like he is human, but several body parts have been visibly improved. Logan and Kenfield explain that the most vulnerable parts of our bodies have been fortified with Graham.

One of the most serious car accident injuries is certainly a head trauma or brain injury, and that is why Graham's skull is made to be bigger, with a lot more fluid inside it and ligaments to support the brain in case of a car accident.

The most notable change is the ribcage appearance as Graham has with a large and barrel-like chest. This appearance has everything to do with the ribs which are the most effective way to protect our vital organs. Between each rib, Graham has a sack that should mimic the airbags and serve to absorb the force of the impact.

Graham will be on display at the State Library of Victoria until August 8 when he will go on the tour throughout the state. Everyone visiting the display will be able to use the Google Tango technology that will allow them to see beneath the skin and understand how Graham's unique physique can protect him from high-speed car crashes.

And while Graham looks like a ''benevolent giant'' that shows how we have to change our bodies to survive a car crash, it is bound to make some schoolchildren uneasy by its appearance.

Hopefully, we will never have to look like Graham with the new automotive innovations such as driver-assistance systems and self-driving cars. And until those technologies perfect motor-vehicle safety, we can only rely on ourselves and our ability to drive responsibly and take proper safety measures while in traffic.

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