What a human evolved to withstand a car crash might look like

July 24, 2016

When it comes to auto safety, advocates Down Under really know how to drive a point home.

A couple of years ago, the New Zealand Transport Agency (which is roughly equivalent to America's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), created an emotionally powerful video about the dangers of careless driving. Now, Australia's Transport Accident Commission has gone in a slightly different but equally striking direction with a new campaign centered around a mythical man named Graham.

As you'll see in the clip embedded above, Graham represents what humans might look like if they were designed to survive automobile crashes. TAC explains: "A catalyst for conversation and ultimately an educational tool, Graham shows us what we might look like if we were built to survive on our roads. He’s a reminder of just how vulnerable our bodies really are when speed and impact forces as low as 30km/h [roughly 19 mph] are at play."

Among the features that Graham possesses to protect him during collisions:

  • A massive skull to absorb impact and shield his brain from damage.
  • A flat face flanked by fatty tissue to prevent bone fractures.
  • Thicker skin to minimize abrasions.
  • A barrel chest with strong ribs and special, airbag-like sacs.
  • Knees that bend side-to-side, not just forward and backward, reducing the risk of breakage.
  • Strong legs with added joints that allow him to jump out of the way of oncoming cars.

Is the Graham campaign disturbing? You betcha.

Will it make you stop and think about how fragile the human body is, especially when it goes head-to-head with hundreds of pounds of zooming metal? That's what TAC is hoping.

You can learn more about Graham and watch videos about each of his evolutionary advantages at meetgraham.com.au.

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