Asleep at the wheel

Most of us have been there. You're on a long drive, on an arrow-straight highway. You started early in the day, and now you're getting to that point that no amount of caffeine, sugar, music or other stimulants will keep you going. Your head nods once. You feel your eyelids start to droop. And then you pop back up. Falling asleep while driving is a genuinely terrifying and potentially lethal experience. If you feel yourself starting to get drowsy, do yourself and everyone else on the road a favor and pull off.

A woman in New Zealand didn't heed this sound advice. According to a story from The New Zealand Herald, the woman covered a distance of 300 kilometers (186.4 miles, or roughly the distance from New York City to Baltimore) while asleep, and somehow managed to text friends along the way. If she'd been drinking a beer, she'd have had all the bases covered for things you shouldn't do while piloting a motor vehicle.

The story takes a turn for the stupid, though, after it turns out the woman had a sleeping disorder and had taken sleeping pills ahead of the drive. Kiwi police were alerted to the issue by a friend of the woman, who was receiving garbled texts. The woman was eventually found by her cousin, slumped over the wheel at her former home. She had no memory of either driving or sending text messages. Not surprisingly, police have banned her from driving until they can obtain medical advice on her condition and decide whether she should hold a license.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 37 Comments
      Ducman69
      • 1 Year Ago
      I call BS on the misleading title. She may have been in a diminished state of conciousness, but not fully asleep as even on a straight road her car would have drifted at least a little bit, and flown off the road.
        Eric Schmid
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ducman69
        Yeah. How about "NZ woman drives 185 miles while in altered state of mind"
        Krazeecain
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ducman69
        When I saw the title, the first thing I thought was that maybe the rutts in the highway kept her on track or something. After reading though, it sounds more like she was sleep-driving. Either way you cut it, she was at least a lot closer to being fully asleep than I'm comfortable with!
      Daniel
      • 1 Year Ago
      More click-bait for your AOL minders. Gotta feed the beast.
      Zee Frunch Canadiun
      • 1 Year Ago
      I call bullsh*t
      domingorobusto
      • 1 Year Ago
      This just sounds like "drowsy autopilot" to me, not asleep. We've all been there, spaced out so completely that you look up and realize you've covered 50 miles with no real recollection of the actions that led you there. But that's a far cry from actually being asleep at the wheel, which is far scarier. I know, I've done both. The time I actually fell asleep, I woke up in the median of the divided highway still travelling at 70 mph. Thankfully it was a nice shallow and moderately smooth median, so I was able to maintain control and get my car back on the road without incident. I went back and looked at my point of entry into the median, and I had gone in about 5 feet past one of those crossovers dikes the police use to cross directions. If I'd have hit that, it would have ended very badly. Moral of the story is, if you're getting that sleepy to where you're nodding out, pull over and take a nap. Being late is better than being involved in a serious incident.
      jf.bouchard
      • 1 Year Ago
      What is the genericmobile pictured?
        jf.bouchard
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jf.bouchard
        Hmm. Can't find a Saturd with a similar dash. This is the same car as the picture: http://www.123rf.com/photo_8106054_woman-in-a-car-is-looking-backwards-trying-to-move-back.html http://www.123rf.com/photo_8106057_elegant-woman-is-doing-makeup-on-the-run-in-her-car.html (note the blank roof handle, classy)
      Drakkon
      • 1 Year Ago
      Did she fall asleep in a molester trenchcoat?
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Drakkon
        [blocked]
        Fodder
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Drakkon
        Wait are you saying she works for NASA?
      LOLO
      • 1 Year Ago
      story is only half true. she fell asleep at the end she was awake the whole time and was "out of it" able to keep the car on the road like a drone the title of the story is garbage
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Headline does not match the article.
      MZR2.3
      • 1 Year Ago
      still doesn't beat the guy from Vegas who crashed into a pole while trying to have sex with his girlfriend and drive simultaneously.
      Toxic
      • 1 Year Ago
      ─────▄▌ ▐▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀​▀▌ ───▄▄██▌█░░ New Zealand Moving van░░░░ ▄▄▄◕ ‿ ◕▌█ ░░..........Sleepy Movers.......░░░░░▐ ███████▌█▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄​▄▄▌ ▀@▀▀▀▀▀▀▀@@▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀@@▀▀L
        AcidTonic
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Toxic
        Nice Ascii art man.... Was that original? I'm looking for a good ascii artist for a game I'm writing.
      askroon
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nice stock photography AB - this is the first Google image result when you type in "woman asleep at the wheel"
      Rob Gomes
      • 1 Year Ago
      I once had an insulin reaction while in my Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII MR, while in Boston rush hour traffic on Rte. 24. Apparently I ended up turning off the highway into Stoughton, and someone eventually called me in for weaving in lane a bit (and out of lane). Apparently I stopped for stop signs and eventually the state trooper while I was bumbling through a suburban neighborhood. From where I remember being conscious and from when I woke up while be strapped to a stretcher to go in the ambulance, I apparently traveled about 9 miles while effectively blacked out. I also hit absolutely nothing. At incredibly low blood sugars you do operate subconsciously for a while (blackout state) until your sugar drops low enough to actually pass out (people have been known to wander around, for example).
        AcidTonic
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rob Gomes
        Wow, in a fast car none-the-less. I have a friend who has insulin problems sometimes. When he's really being a jerk I know he needs some sugar. Most of the time I'm right. But it's amusing when I've simply legitimately pissed him off then keep bugging him to check his sugar levels. I'm persistent thinking my friend is in danger, only to have him check it and slam the perfectly fine reading in my face :) But I've saved his life a few times already, found him drooling on the floor of his house one time when I came over. Scary stuff. Glad you made it :)
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