There was a time before the advent of using human substitutes for conducting accident tests. Industries were left with the prospect of using human cases alone and not even a single crash test dummy.


And then came the use of crash test dummies and mannequins. Polymerised humans that would undergo various tests to confirm a vehicle’s safety and standards.

This leaves us with a real curious question? Is it possible to create a dummy that is impervious to damage caused by car accidents? What would such a dummy look like?

A contemporary artist from Australia answered these questions quite literally.

Meet Graham.

It’s hard to ignore Graham. Most would call him abhorrent and horrifying. But he’s actually a representation of how humans would have to evolve to survive car crashes. He was created by the Transport Accident Commission, a government organization in the Australian state of Victoria. They worked with a trauma surgeon, a crash investigation expert, and an artist to develop Graham.

The interactive installation is currently on display at the State Library of Victoria until August 8. He will them embark on a roadshow. Anyone can interact with Graham online.


Project Graham is a step further on the evolutionary chart. Its goal is to show how sensitive our bodies are to external driving forces. The Project is a part of Towards Zero that aims to reduce and  prevent car deaths.

But, instead of using cheesy public service announcements, the project focuses on road behavior. It launched a $1.1 billion plan to make roads safer in an effort to reduce deaths. They project a 20% decrease in Victoria and 15%  serious injuries in five years.


“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,” TAC chief executive officer Joe Calafiore said.

According to TAC, all humans have their own coping mechanisms to reform their bodies in response to a deforming force. One way survive a low impact crash is by evolving.

More About Graham’s Design

Graham’s skull is almost helmet like. It’s large size, and built-in crumple zones, allow it to absorb any impact forces. His face is flat and has a lot of fatty tissues to protect the delicate bones similar to humans. His movement is heavily restricted by not having a neck. The ribs reach up to reach his skull which fortifies his neck with a cage like plate.


This solidifies him with a brace-like structure that protects his head from injury. Graham has airbags in between each rib and his knees bend in all directions.

“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,” Calafiore said.


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