"We should feel safe in the back of a car."
A grieving mother whose son and his wife were killed in a car crash believes rear seat airbags would have saved their lives from the “freak accident”.
Kyle Khan, aged 26, and Meesha Afzal, aged 22, of Sparkhill, were sat in the back of a Mercedes A200 driven by their friend when it crashed into a brick wall on Warwick Road, Solihull.
Although they were both wearing seatbelts, the couple were tragically declared dead at the scene in the early hours of December 13, 2020.
Now Kyle’s mother Roshni Sajida Yousaf has called for rear airbags to be a “compulsory” fitting by manufacturers across the automotive industry.
Roshni explained: “I want to see airbags for all passengers on the back seat to make them safer and save lives.
“I want the back seat passengers to be safe just like the front two. Otherwise, it’s like a lottery gamble or Russian roulette.
“The front two have their belts and the airbags, but what have back seat passengers got? In many cars they just have their belts.
“If you hit your head and/or neck against the headrest on the seat in front with force you are not going to survive it.
“We should feel safe in the back of a car.”
The driver and front-seat passenger suffered “serious but not life-threatening injuries” in the crash.
Post-mortem examinations found Meesha died from head and neck injuries while Kyle suffered a fatal head injury.
An inquest, which was opened and adjourned in December 2020, was told that the car “may have travelled in excess of the speed limit”.
The investigation is still ongoing.
Roshni told Birmingham Mail: “They (Kyle and Meesha) were lifted up, pushed forward and went back. It was a freak accident.
“The car mounted the pavement and hit the wall. The front two suffered injuries, but the back two died when they were wearing seatbelts. For what reason?
“What a waste of life. Why not make it compulsory to put airbags in the back?”
She revealed that her son’s belongings are still with police.
Roshni continued: “To have any form of closure I need to know what happened, how it happened and who is responsible.
“It’s been 10-months and I’m a grieving parent. I need to put this in the past.”
A Department for Transport spokesperson said:
“This was a tragic incident, and our thoughts are with the families of Meesha and Kyle.
“While there is no legal requirement for airbags in any seating position, many vehicle manufacturers use them as part of an integrated safety package to meet regulatory safety performance requirements and obtain a high marking in consumer rating tests.
“Vehicles originally fitted with an airbag will fail their annual roadworthiness test (MOT) where a vehicle examiner finds an airbag is obviously missing or defective, or where an indicator lamp is illuminated indicating a system malfunction.”
A Mercedes-Benz spokesperson said they were deeply saddened to learn of the tragic incident.
The firm said that front airbags are standard across their range.
Depending on the model, it has a selection of rear airbags in vehicles, including side airbags and window airbags.