New Zealand woman drives, texts while sleeping

Texting while driving can be deadly. Adding to the danger: texting and driving while asleep at the wheel.

A woman in New Zealand managed to drive — and even send her friends text messages — for hours while asleep, according to a story in the New Zealand Herald. Miraculously, she did not get into an accident.

According to News 3 New Zealand, the unnamed woman, who reportedly suffers from a sleep condition and was taking sleeping pills at the time, got behind the wheel and drove around New Zealand all night.

The sleep-driver reportedly left her house in Hamilton, headed to Auckland and then to her former home in Mount Maunganui on the coast late on Tuesday night, driving for a total of five hours and about 190 miles.

As she sleep-drove, she texted her friends, who believed she sent them while half asleep, says New Zealand’s News 3.

Police say that although the woman was texting during her drive, she was unconscious the entire time and has no memory of the nighttime ride.

Law enforcement began tracking the woman’s movement through her cell phone after receiving a call from a concerned friend, but weren’t able to find her as she kept driving.

“While all this was going on, police were scanning any reports of unusual or concerning driving as we attempted to find the Toyota and prevent a potential tragedy,” Sgt. Dave Litton was quoted in the Daily Mail.

Police said that the woman’s cousin finally found her at her former residence on the coast, asleep, slumped over the wheel of her car.

“While her being found safe and well is a relief for everyone involved, the potential for tragedy was huge and we're urging people suffering medical conditions to be open and honest with their doctors and seek advice on the medication they are prescribed,” Litton told the New Zealand Herald.

Police have sought an urgent order forbidding the woman to drive and to seek medical advice on her suitability to remain holding her drivers license, the New Zealand Herald adds.