As part of a road safety campaign in the Australian state of Victoria, Melbourne, sculptor Patricia Piccinini created a model of what a human body built to survive bad car accidents would look like.
The model named Graham features a huge chest, inflated head, extra nipples and absence of a neck. Piccinini drew from the knowledge of trauma surgeon Christian Kenfield and road safety engineer David Logan to build a body that could withstand a high-speed crash.
Graham’s huge chest and extra nipples are meant to mimic air bags and protect his rib cage.
His lack of neck rules out broken bones and whiplash, while his flat, fatty face is designed to protect his nose and ears.
The padded up chest with airbags between each rib protects his heart.Graham also has thicker and tougher skin to shield and reduce abrasions and road rash.
Graham’s features also come in handy if he is a pedestrian. He has strong legs allowing him to jump out of the way of oncoming cars, and his knees bend in all directions to save him breaking his leg when hit by a car.
According to Dr Kenfield, even the strongest man could not hold himself in place in a car accident because the force of crash was 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.’
Piccinini also consulted with Dr Logan who is a road safety expert at Monash University.
‘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,’ Dr Logan said.
‘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.’
The interactive sculpture is part of a creative Victorian road safety campaign.
Students are not left out as school curriculum has been developed to enhance the learning experience for students visiting Graham in person or online.
BREAKDOWN OF GRAHAM’S FEATURES
• No neck, ruling out broken necks and whiplash
• Flat, fatty face to protect the nose and ears
• Several airbags in between each rib and a huge chest to protect the heart
• Thicker and tougher skin to shield and reduce abrasions and road rash
• Strong legs to allow him to jump out of the way of oncoming cars
• Knees bend in all directions to save him breaking his leg when hit by a car
More photos of Graham…