Flood for thought: Monsoon driving tips

The Philippines experiences the monsoon season from June to September. In Manila, the rainy season reaches its height in August with the highest rainfall of around 473 millimeters. These torrential rains can bring traffic to a standstill and have sunk provinces such as Pampanga and Bulacan by around 4.6 centimeters a year since 2003. The daily lives of city dwellers are also disrupted by these downpours – in 2018, the monsoon season affected more than 288,860 families from 21 provinces across the country. 

Nissan Philippines shares five top driving tips in floods, while noting that its Terra SUV has an 800mm water-wading ability, along with 225mm of ground clearance.

  1. Know the maximum wading depth of your vehicle. This height is set for each vehicle by where the vulnerable systems are, like the air filter and distributor.
  2. Ease into the water at no faster than 3kph. This reduces the chance of water entering the engine through the air filter and damaging electrical parts, as it creates a “bow wave” in front of the vehicle and a depression in water level around the engine bay.
  3. Keep a constant speed and do not release the accelerator. This prevents water from flooding the engine through the exhaust pipe.
  4. Proceed one vehicle at a time. This is so you will not be forced to stop in the middle of the flooded roads if the vehicle in front stalls.
  5. After safely crossing a flooded area, check for any vehicle irregularity or debris. Check your vehicle and engine bay for any signs of debris that could be trapped inside.

“Floods during the monsoon season cause big challenges in major cities like Manila because people can’t reach their destinations on time, with rising waters causing delays. Our customer’s safety and ability to go anywhere, at any time, is at the heart of what we do. This inspired us to ensure the Nissan Terra’s ability to go through high water can transform the way people drive, with confidence,” said Hironori Awano, Nissan Terra chief vehicle engineer. “Just 300mm of water will float many vehicles, and 600mm can carry away even some heavy-duty vehicles.” 

(Article was contributed by Nissan Philippines.)

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