Meet the per­fect driver.

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - AL­WYN VILJOEN

MEET the ul­ti­mate driver and pedes­trian. He is an Ozzi, only goes by the name of Gra­ham and was com­mis­sioned by Aus­tralia’s Trans­port Ac­ci­dent Com­mis­sion to high­light hu­man vul­ner­a­bil­ity on the road.

But in­stead of show­ing the body’s weak­ness in a crash, renowned sculp­tor Patricia Pic­cinini took the op­po­site view, and asked Dr David Lo­gan, a se­nior re­search fel­low at Monash Univer­sity in Aus­tralia, how a hu­man body would need to evolve to sur­vive the typ­i­cal trauma caused by a crash.

Lo­gan said he daily sees how a car crash pulps a body. “The hu­man body just can­not ab­sorb the en­er­gies in a mod­ern, high­speed car crash.

“In 50% of the crashes, the driver did not even have time to brake,” Lo­gan said.

Christian Ken­field, trauma sur­geon at Royal Mel­bourne Hos­pi­tal, told Pic­cinini the forces in­volved in even a low-speed crash of 25 km/h are quite great.

“In a crash, as the head stops, the brain moves for­ward, smash­ing into front of the skull, then bounces back to also smash against the back of the skull, caus­ing more in­jury,” he said.

Ken­field ad­vised Pic­cinini that in or­der to sur­vive a lowspeed crash, a hu­man would need to have no neck to avoid whiplash in­juries, a lot of fatty tis­sue around the face to pro­tect the sen­si­tive bones in the skull and a torso with airbags be­tween the ribs to help dis­perse im­pact.

Gra­ham also has goat-like legs to jump out of dan­ger sit­u­a­tions. Pic­cinini said she was ex­cited about shap­ing a hu­man that could sur­vive a car crash. “It is a project that is re­ally rel­e­vant to the com­mu­nity.”


With no neck, airbags be­tween its ribs and fatty tis­sues to pro­tect his face, Gra­ham shows what hu­mans have to evolve into to sur­vive a typ­i­cal car crash. The goat-like legs are to jump high out of the way of dan­ger when walk­ing next to a road.

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