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Highway hypnosis is a mental state in which the person can drive an automobile great distances, responding to external events in the expected manner, with no recollection of having consciously done so. In this state the driver's conscious mind is apparently fully focused elsewhere, with seemingly direct processing of the masses of information needed to drive safely. 'Highway Hypnosis' is just one manifestation of a relatively commonplace experience, theoretically where the conscious and subconscious minds appear to concentrate on different things; workers performing simple and repetitive tasks and people deprived of sleep are likely to experience similar symptoms. Therefore, it is a sort of subconscious "driving mode."
Although I see your idea as possible, it doesn't really explain the majority of time loss cases where the amount of missing time does not directly relate to distance travelled.