Humans have a remarkable ability to adapt to our surroundings. We can survive in almost any climate. We have a greater ability to create and share knowledge than any other species. That does not mean that we are able to withstand anything. For all the changes that humans have experienced over the years, we are simply not equipped to survive the impact of a serious car accident.
Our greatest strength as a species may be our greatest weakness when it comes to fatal car crashes – our brains. It a collision, when the car comes to a rapid stop, the people inside the car continue to move forward. The brain inside our skulls continues to move forward until it collides, violently, in a way it was never meant to. The result of even low-speed collisions can be a traumatic brain injury from which victims often never fully recover.
A group of surgeons, engineers, scientists and artists in Australia gathered together to design something to show us just how ill-suited we are when it comes to surviving a crash. The group created a model of just what a human being would look like if it was purposefully built to withstand an impact like that experienced in a collision. The result is a decidedly different version of a human body. The experiment, Project Graham, shows a human with thicker skin, a helmet-like skull and massively thicker neck and chest. The result is not aesthetically pleasing, but it does show us how vulnerable we are to impact injuries.
Humans aren’t built for collision. That is something to consider before engaging in hazardous driving behaviors like distracted driving, drunk driving, fatigued driving or aggressive driving. The best way to avoid and injury or death from a car accident is to avoid the accident altogether.
Source: Towards Zero, “Meet Graham,” July 2016
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