Campi issues motorists safety advisory on what to do during heavy rains, floods

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In time for the rainy season, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (Campi) recently issued an advisory to provide assistance to the riding public.

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In an advisory sent by Campi President Rommel Gutierrez, the group noted that now is the season for motorists to be mindful of their vehicles’ conditions.

Aside from that, they also said that good driving habits should also be exercised when driving in the rain.

Gutierrez said that preventive maintenance is important, citing the need for good wiper blades, lights, brakes and tires.

“Be sure to replace old and brittle wiper blades.  Check the tire treads remembering that wet roads require added traction.  Make sure all lights and lamps are working. Check brakes to ensure normal operation,” he said.

Drivers should also practice safety driving when on the road, especially under the rain, the car manufacturers’ group stated.

“When driving along the highways, drive closer to the center lanes as water tends to pool in the outside lanes.  Increase the distance between you and the vehicle ahead…it takes longer to stop in wet roads,” Campi claimed.

Gutierrez said that accidents usually occur on high speed so using low gear and slowing down is a must. “High speed increases the chances of hydroplaning.”

“Do not use cruise control. Turn on your headlights.  Headlights help you see and be seen in the wet weather,” he added.

Further, Gutierrez said thatvmotorists must know how to negotiate a flooded road.

“Shut-off aircon to protect the air compressor.  Maintain acceleration [constant speed]to keep water from entering the tail pipe.  Drive slowly through any puddle of uncertain depth,” the advisory stated.

“When in doubt, stop and turn back if you can.  Never drive through moving water…you could be swept right off the road.  If you cross a puddle, tap on the brake lightly to dry off rotors,” the group explained.

Driving far from buses and trucks should help motorists get away from danger as the “extra large tires of these vehicles can cause large amount of water to spray in your car which can completely block your vision.”

However, if the vehicle is trapped in a flood, disconnect the battery if you can, close all windows and get out of the vehicle.

Should the vehicle get submerge on floodwaters, do not attempt to start the engine.

Immediately disconnect and remove the battery.  Clean and dry completely all electrical harness and components.  Clean and dry the vehicle.  Drain, flush and replace all fluids/oils.  Re-grease all greasing points.  Finally, call up the nearest service center for appointment and needed repair.

Gutierrez stated that Campi has noted the experts’ predictions that global weather conditions will not only become harsher but that such pattern will also become more frequent. The Philippines is also always mentioned to be in a vulnerable spot.

“Sadly, we can expect more rains and should therefore be prepared.  We hope the public will heed our advice and be safe as they traverse the roads during this season.” RUBEN D. MANAHAN 4th

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