Meet Graham – The TAC Person Who Can Survive Our Dangerous Roads

graham can withstand a car accident

Is a new advertising campaign being launched by the TAC to highlight the vulnerability of us humans to injury in a car accident.

From what I can see it is a wonderful campaign, in that it highlights:

  • The human body is not designed to withstand the forces involved in a transport accident
  • We are as humans designed at best to withstand running into a wall (or better yet in light of our history – a tree)
  • Motor vehicles move much faster, and our chances are slimmer to survive a crash

The TAC Graham campaign is being launched at a time when road deaths are on the rise despite increased road safety campaigns.

From the perspective of a specialist personal injury lawyer, the campaign is a welcome opportunity to have our community become aware and accept the major impact a transport accident has on the bodies of all those involved.

We regularly see persons seriously affected, with permanent changes to the quality of their lives, who have not suffered major fractures to their bodies. They have simply been subjected to forces that are well beyond what their bodies can manage.

The video attached to the media release of the campaign highlights the high forces involved in even low speed impacts and the damage that is likely to occur to very sensitive areas of the body such as the brain.

Injuries to the brain are an area that has interested me from early on in my career. It started with a major claim by a person left a paraplegic as a result of simply falling off a horse when the horse was not moving. The horse had simply bent over and dropped to the ground causing the rider to fall and hit her head on the ground. The claim was made against the Australian equestrian helmet manufacturer, who I acted for here in Australia.

The accident occurred in California and for the defence we hired a leading neurosurgeon who was at that time designated as the surgeon who would operate on the President, at any time such care was needed. In simple words he made it clear to the jury that no helmet can prevent the brain from the forces involved in such a fall.

The brain, in any impact involving rotational forces, is simply caused to crash against the inside of the skull again and again (as has essentially the consistency of jelly) and in doing so, suffers damage throughout the brain.

The lesson learned in that matter has always left me concerned for anyone who is in a transport accident about the extent of damage their brains have suffered.

The brain is only one part of the body that is at risk, we also regularly see damage to the soft tissues of the back, shoulders and knees, as the body is thrown around the vehicle after the impact.

The video for instance shows a side impact, and one can see how much the body is just warped by the forces applied, which all the safety equipment provided in the car cannot stop.

I am hopeful that the campaign will give us all an acceptance of how serious a transport accident can be even in a low impact collision. That awareness should lead to a greater acceptance of the injuries presented by those involved in such accidents.

From experience, such is even a greater concern with those more senior members of our community, whose bodies are so much less able to manage such forces.

Sadly, any force above running into an object is beyond what our bodies can manage.

Henry Carus