The human body is an amazing machine. Despite brilliant evolution, the human body remains fragile, prone to being injured. Most often, these injuries are a result of accidents, caused by driving dangerously. Governments world over have taken numerous initiatives to create awareness on the dangers of reckless driving and the latest arsenal in the kitty of the Victoria government (Australia) is “Graham”. Graham was created by Melbourne-based sculptor Patricia Piccinini after extensive consultation with a leading trauma surgeon and road safety engineer. Graham appears deformed but his body is built to survive a car crash/accident. He is part of the new Australian Road Safety campaign and was commissioned by the Transport Accident Commission.
Graham is the new road safety ambassador of Victoria, Australia. He is designed in a way to survive a probable car crash.
Graham is not just a regular human, rather he has been tweaked with a huge chest, a humongous head, extra nipples layering the chest and a complete absence of neck. These changes supposedly help people survive a car crash.
The quirky, unique looking road safety ambassador is the creation of Melbourne sculptor Patricia Piccinini.
Piccinini took the help of two people, Christian Kenfield, a trauma surgeon and David Logan, a road safety engineer. Combining their expertise and knowledge, Piccinini created a body that could tolerate a high-speed crash.
Graham’s sturdy chest, coupled with extra nipples act as airbags, protecting the rib cage. Graham does not possess a neck, thus preventing any broken bones or whiplash arising out of a sudden, jarring force. He has a flat, fatty face, protecting his nose and ears.
While acting as airbags for the ribs, the nipples also protect the heart from getting injured during accidents. Graham’s distorted features underscore the fragility of the human body.
Dr.Kenfield stated that even the strongest man would not be able to prevent injuries to himself because of the force of the crash. He added that even low speeds such as 25 – 35 km an hour can prove dangerous to normal humans.
Dr.Kenfield avers that the most significant injury is caused to the head. Even when the head stops moving, the brain within the head continues to move forward, hitting the front part of the skull with great force and then bounces backward, resulting in an injury to the back of the head.
Dr.Logan, the road safety engineer from Monash University says that in the present scenario where a human body is subjected to high speeds on a daily basis, it (human body) simply does not have the physiology to absorb the energy released during accidents.
He further states that a crash is about energy management. When one is moving along the road, energy is present. When the car has to be stopped abruptly due to an unforeseen situation, the resultant energy has to be absorbed by the vehicle and the driver.
Graham, the interactive sculpture was launched on July 21st, 2016 as part of a Victorian road safety campaign.
The people of Victoria will have access to Google Tango, an immersive augmented reality technology that will help them understand better how Graham’s unique physiology would help him in shielding himself from serious injuries during a crash.
Schools have devised a curriculum to enhance the learning experience for students visiting Graham in person or online.