Australians Create Terrifying Man-Thing to Showcase Vehicle Safety

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
australians create terrifying man thing to showcase vehicle safety

What would your body look like if it evolved to survive a car crash?

That’s the question a group of Australians had in mind when they created Graham, a disturbingly lifelike creation designed to show how vulnerable our bodies are in a low-speed impact.

Project Graham is part of Towards Zero, an Australian government initiative designed to (eventually) eliminate road deaths through technology and policy. To create Graham, the project grouped together a trauma surgeon, road safety engineer, and an artist, and told them to play Dr. Moreau.

“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,” said Dr. David Logan, senior research fellow at the Monash University Accident Research Center.

No matter what a body looks like, a high-speed impact will likely be fatal without restraints and cushioning devices. So, the team went to work on designing one that would survive low-speed impacts between 15 to 22 miles per hour.

“The dangers at even low speeds … is quite great,” said Christian Kenfield, a trauma surgeon at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. “With our increased speeds, even the good design of the body is not protecting organs in some cases.”

The results of the project were — literally — not pretty. Graham might be able to bounce off the hood of a car or soak up a steering wheel with grace and aplomb, but his Tinder profile would need exceptionally blurry shots for anyone to swipe right. Besides his extra wide head and neck and his caved-in face, Graham’s warped legs and alien-like booblets (chest protection, see?) adds up to a body meant for radio.

Despite its lack of sex appeal, the creation has lessons for a variety of curriculums — not just the vehicle safety realm. That’s why you can rent it. As for Graham, he has a fun summer planned, with educational appearances planned throughout the Australian state of Victoria. Beach appearances would be ill-advised.

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  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Jul 21, 2016

    Our body can't tolerate much of an impact beyond 20 miles per hour or 30kph. 20 foot fall yields the same force. There is a reason why school zones are 20 mpg (30kph). The big thick neck on Graham would be to protect the C-spine. Jack has talked about HANS Device's and we all recall Dale Earnhardt's death. I've seen CT's of injuries like Earnhardt's. The brain can "shake" inside the vault of the skull without any direct impact. The heart basically is suspended in the chest by the great vessels. I've seen CT's of torn aorta's and also seen it firsthand. Your solid organs are all basically protected by the rib cage. Even the liver can be ruptured/torn by deceleration forces pulling against its anchor points. We are pretty naïve to the forces involved in even a low speed crash. Those who don't think seat belts, SRS, crumple zones and other safety features are a waste of money need to spend some time in a trauma ER.

    • See 5 previous
    • Flybrian Flybrian on Jul 22, 2016


  • Adam Tonge Adam Tonge on Jul 21, 2016

    Graham looks like he knows how to party. Dude could survive all kinds of dumb crap people do when drinking.

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