The Philippines is a tropical country where heavy rain showers are just a normal part of life. As we all know, when it rains it also usually floods, not in all areas but most. Unfortunately, there are times that we’re still on the road when the skies pour and streets get submerged under water.
But before you go gung ho and cross the floods in your beloved vehicle, we recommend you to consider these safety tips before taking the plunge.
Try to avoid flooded roads
Avoid passing through flooded roads if possible no matter what you drive. You never know what dangers the water hides (ex. open manholes, roadworks, etc.) so find an alternate route if possible.
Better yet, stay in a safe and dry place and wait the rain (and floods) out.
Driving through floods
Gauge the water depth before driving through the flooded area. Whether you’re driving a sedan, van, or SUV, if the water level exceeds the wheel's center cap, DO NOT go for it and turn back or wait it out. Look at sidewalks, posts, or any surrounding structures that will help you gauge the flood’s depth or watch another vehicle goes through.
In case water is low enough, put it in 1st gear (or low gear if it’s an automatic transmission) and maintain a steady speed somewhere around 5 to 10 km/h. Make sure there's enough distance between the vehicle ahead and do not shift gears.
If you stall the engine, do not restart it. Get out of the car and push it to safety if possible.
Dry the brakes after
After going through water, dry the brakes by gently stepping on the pedal while driving slowly. Wet brakes lack stopping power and can get you in trouble.
Check, clean, and change
Have the car checked by a mechanic or service center as soon as possible. If water seeped into the exhaust pipe or the engine, the fluids and some parts may have to be replaced. It would be advisable to have the whole car washed and even the underbody. This could save you from shelling out thousands of pesos for major repairs later on.
Driving through flooded areas requires extra caution and serious consideration. Making the wrong choice could lead to costly vehicle repairs or in a total loss. We hope these safety tips helps you during a downpour.