Around APAC: Sleep driver travels hours in New Zealand

In Other News - August 15th, 2013
Sleep driver

A woman in New Zealand was apparently snoozing for hours behind the wheel of her car, with the sleep driver remarkably avoiding accident.

Police are now looking for the unidentified woman after friends who received incoherent text messages from her alerted authorities.

The woman was said to have a highly unusual sleep disorder and was taking sleeping pills at the time.

She left her house in Hamilton and drove for miles around New Zealand, headed to Auckland and then to her former home in Mount Maunganui, a distance of almost 300 km (190 miles).

She even sent her friends text messages – but all the while she was sleep-driving.

Authorities began tracking the woman through her mobile phone after receiving a call from a concerned friend, but weren’t able to find her as she kept driving.

She was finally found by her cousin at her former residence on the coast, asleep, slumped over the wheel of her car.

The woman was believed to be unconscious the entire time and has no memory of the night.

Even though it was a relief to find her safe, the potential tragedy could have been grave, police said.

“We have sought an urgent order forbidding her to drive and to seek medical advice on her suitably to remain holding her driver’s license,” Senior Sergeant Dave Litton said.

A sleep expert told BBC it was possible that a person could suffer “sleep driving” but “sleep texting” was uncommmon.

by Maesie Bertumen

Photo: Sleep driver by Sarah Rose/Flickr