This Is What Humans Need to Look Like to Survive a Car Crash

Unfortunately, have not evolved as fast as cars, and this is the result in the US alone:

Photo Credit: DYK


The human body just isn’t built to cope with the kind of high-speed impacts that cars inevitably cause.

In an effort to remind people of how fragile we are, Australia’s government commissioned a road-safety engineer, an artist, and a trauma surgeon:

Photo Credit: VTAC

The three of them teamed up to create a sculpture that demonstrates just how vulnerable we are when it comes to sharing the world with automobiles.

That sculpture’s name is Graham, and, if we were to evolve the necessary features that would allow us to withstand automobile-related trauma, we would all look just like him.

He’s built to withstand things like this:

Photo Credit: VTAC

Even the strongest human is no match for a T-bone.

So a lot of modifications have to be made.

Even something as simple as skin must be readdressed to let a human stand up to such trauma.

Here’s a cross-section of Graham’s skin. It’s built with extra layers to better protect him.

Photo Credit: VTAC

There’s a lot of glass and other debris involved in most accidents, and normal skin holds up about as well as a wet tissue keeps a sneeze at bay.

What about the ribs? They’re probably pretty important.

That is, after all, where the seat belt meets the person.

Photo Credit: VTAC

Our ribs are actually pretty strong, but they’re no match for the forces a crashing car can dish out.

Photo Credit: VTAC

So, they’ve built Graham better, stronger.

He has extra ribs in between his normal ribs that serve as a sort of airbag to cushion and distribute the force of impact.

The normal rib cage has also been expanded and widened to much the same effect.

And there’s another little surprise:

Photo Credit: VTAC

You see those crazy looking extra nipples?

Well, upon impact they squirt out a liquid that absorbs and expels the energy of impact.

Basically, the extra ribs are like airbags for in between the normal ribs.

The neck is one of the most vulnerable parts of the body when it comes to car crashes. That’s why you can get whiplash from even a minor accident.

Photo Credit: VTAC

So the rib-cage is further expanded – not only to protect the neck, but to replace it entirely.

Photo Credit: VTAC

That would virtually eliminate whiplash.

Photo Credit: VTAC

Now let’s focus on what the neck – or the extra bundle of ribs in Graham’s case – is supposed to hold up.

What about the skull?

Photo Credit: VTAC

Our skull is basically a helmet.

And, in cases of one human hitting another, it does a pretty good job of working like an organic version of the helmet. It protects the brain with its hard shell and dissipates a bit of the blunt energy of whatever comes into contact with it.

Photo Credit: VTAC

But once you step into a car, that thin sheath of bone really doesn’t do much to help you.

That’s why Graham’s skull has impact-absorbing crumple zones, just like most modern cars.

All to protect this baby: the brain.

Photo Credit: VTAC

Our brains, though, do not sit in the skull like that.

We have cerebrospinal fluid surrounding our brains, which is perfect for absorbing the forces from low-speed impacts. Unfortunately, on a football field or in a car accident, it is not so helpful.

If we want our brains to survive car crashes, they need a better suspension system. And that’s just what the team has come up with for Graham:

Photo Credit: VTAC

Along with a new design for the face:

Photo Credit: VTAC

The protruding nose has been flattened out along with the rest of the face, and the designers tossed in some extra fat for cushioning.

No more broken noses and shattered cheek-bones.

You probably already know that your knees are only meant to bend one way.

Photo Credit: VTAC

It’s not all car-on-car impact out there.

We tend to also walk in and around the same spaces where cars are driving.

So the team designed a knee that could bend in all directions:

Photo Credit: VTAC

And, when it came to designing the legs and feet, they incorporated what I feel is the most sci-fi element of Graham:

Photo Credit: VTAC

See that extra bulge where the calf goes?

See that other bulge just below it?

These additional joints and muscles will allow Graham to jump over cars, thereby avoiding all of the terrible effects of a human meeting a car.

Photo Credit: VTAC

Are you ready to meet Graham, in all of his glory, and the team that built him?

Here he is:

Flat-faced, wide-chested, and ugly AF.

Photo Credit: VTAC

He’s got like, 14 nipples, probably more, and he seems fairly contemplative for a punching bag.

Photo Credit: VTAC

Look at him. He’s just chilling there, waiting for cars to evolve to suit his body, which now seems way too large for anything other than a Hummer.

Photo Credit: VTAC

And there are those sci-fi, jump-over-the-car style legs.

Here’s a video with more info about Graham as told by the team that built him:

Pretty cool idea, right?

Want to make us realize we’re not invincible?

All you have to do is show us what we’d have to look like, just to come close.

What features would you add to your version of Graham?

Now that you’re in the right frame of mind, meditating on the fragility of the human body and all, why not contemplate the fragility of life itself with these 12 Seemingly Random Facts to Help You Ponder the Meaning of Life.

Source – Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission / Towards Zero / Project Graham

h/t: Distractify