Mum was texting before crash

A mother who was driving with her 3-year-old child in the rear seat was texting before she lost control of her vehicle, flipping into a ditch.

In another crash the following day a man is also believed to have been texting when he ploughed into the rear of a car parked on the side of the road.

Waikato Police are urging motorists ensure they maintain their situational awareness after two serious crashes over recent days as a result of drivers being distracted.

Sergeant Geoff Blow of the Hamilton Road Safety Team said the first crash happened on a rural road east of the city on Monday shortly before 1pm.

"A mother was driving with her 3-year-old child along a 100km/h stretch of Holland Rd, about 1km west of Marshmeadow Rd, when witnesses describe her car as veering first to the right, skid heavily to the left and then crash into a ditch before the car flipped."

"Fortunately for all concerned the child was strapped in to a good quality car seat and both occupants escaped serious injury. When spoken to at the scene the mother admitted she was reading a text just prior to the crash."

Sgt Blow said another incident - where texting is also believed to be involved - happened yesterday when a man crashed into a stationary vehicle on the side of the road on SH1 near Hautapu Rd between Hamilton and Cambridge.

He said a man had pulled over to the side of the road to check why his car's Bluetooth device had crashed.

"While he was stationary a man who police believe was texting at the time, has not noticed the stationary vehicle on the side of the road and has ploughed into the rear of it shunting parked vehicle into an adjoining paddock.

The driver who crashed was taken to Waikato Hospital by ambulance with minor injuries while the innocent driver was shaken and left contemplating the damage to his car.

"Here we have an example of a person who has done the right thing by pulling over to address a concern whose vehicle has then been hit by another, driven by someone who appears to have been driving while distracted.

"Driver fatigue and distraction is a real killer on our roads."

Last year driver fatigue and distraction were considered contributing factors in 10 out of the 22 fatal crashes on Waikato roads.

- James Ihaka of the New Zealand Herald

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