Meet Graham: the human designed to survive our roads

Australia’s Transport Accident Commission and agency Clemenger BBDO Melbourne have created a figure ‘with bodily features that might be present in humans if they had evolved to withstand the forces involved in car crashes’

The TAC (which is a Victorian government body) and Clemenger BBDO Melbourne worked with a leading trauma surgeon, a crash investigation expert and artist Patricia Piccinini on the project. According to the Tac “Graham has been designed with bodily features that might be present in humans if they had evolved to withstand the forces involved in crashes. Studies have shown that the human body can only cope with impacts at speeds people can reach on their own, unassisted by vehicles.”

Meet Graham TAC Patricia Piccinini
Graham: a sculpture created by artist Patricia Piccinini for the TAC and Clemenger BBDO Melbourne to demonstrate what a human would would like if it evolved to survive car crashes

TAC chief executive officer Joe Calafiore said, “Cars have evolved a lot faster than humans and Graham helps us understand why we need to improve every aspect of our roads system to protect ourselves from our own mistakes.”

Royal Melbourne Hospital trauma surgeon Christian Kenfield and Monash University Accident Research Centre crash investigator David Logan briefed sculptor Piccinini to develop Graham. The life-size figure is currently on show at the State Library of Victoria and will then be going on a roadshow around Australia.

Meet Graham TAC
View Graham interactive experience in which users can explore the anatomy of a figure evolved to survive car crashes

An interactive version (View Graham) in which users can explore Graham’s body and the way in which his anatomy has evolved to withstand crashes has been created by the agency and Airbag Productions using Google’s Tango AR technology.

“Graham is an educational tool that will serve the community for years to come as a reminder of why we need to develop a safer road system that will protect us when things go wrong,” Mr Calafiore said.

Australia – and in particular the Tac – has a long history of hard-hitting road safety ads but for UK viewers Graham may spark memories of the Barry Myers-directed Natural Born Smoker public information film from 1985. Still creepy after all these years.

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