Woman drives 300km while asleep
Wednesday 14 Aug 2013 8:42 a.m.
A woman has driven 300km whilst asleep (file)
The dangers of texting and driving are well documented but a Hamilton woman has increased those risks even further - doing both while asleep.
The woman, who suffers from a sleep condition and was taking sleeping pills, was asleep when she drove more than 300 kilometres from her Hamilton home to Auckland and then to Mt Maunganui late on Tuesday night.
Police say she was texting throughout her unconscious drive and has no recollection of the incident, which began around midnight on Tuesday.
Five hours later, her cousin found her slumped over her steering wheel in the driveway of her former home in Mt Maunganui.
Police were tracking the woman's movements via her mobile phone throughout the five hour ordeal after they received a 111 call from a concerned friend.
The friend told police the woman had last driven while asleep 10 months prior.
Police say it is fortunate her driving didn't conclude with a "huge tragedy".
"Last night's events could have so easily ended in tragedy which is something I am sure, we all want to avoid," Senior Sergeant Dave Litton said.
They have sought an urgent order forbidding the woman to drive and will seek medical advice to determine whether she should be able to hold a drivers license long term.
Police are urging all drivers with medical conditions to adhere to restrictions on prescription medications.