Motorists in the UK are being warned they could be hit with fines of up to £5,000 for not turning on their air conditioning this summer.

Drivers have been warned that failing to use air conditioning or open windows during hot weather could violate the Highway Code.

Rule 237 of the Highway Code requires vehicles to be well-ventilated to prevent driver drowsiness.

The reason for the rule is to avoid drowsiness when in control of a vehicle, should drivers ignore the guidance and subsequently lose control of their vehicle they risk a fine of up to £5,000 in the most serious cases.

Experts at Swansway Motor Group said: “Breaking Rule 237 could result in an on-the-spot fine if you are deemed to be driving carelessly or involved in an accident due to poor ventilation. An overheated car can cause drowsiness, putting the driver in an unsafe driving state.

"Drivers must have complete control over their vehicles at all times and in hot weather, keeping the vehicles well-ventilated can help to combat any mistakes being made behind the wheel.

"Failure to stick to this can lead to drowsiness at the wheel and, in extreme cases, a £1,000 fine for careless driving. If this leads to an accident where someone is seriously injured, the punishment could increase to a £5,000 fine and nine penalty points on their licence.

"Good ventilation is important for staying alert and driving safely. Without enough airflow, a car's interior can heat quickly, causing driver fatigue and slower reaction times."

Government 'prison' warning over failure to follow Highway Code rules

Although some rulings under the Highway Code may seem extreme to many, the government warn they are legal requirements and failure to follow them could see drivers sent to prison.

They say: “Many of the rules in the Code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you are committing a criminal offence.

“You may be fined, given penalty points on your licence or be disqualified from driving. In the most serious cases you may be sent to prison.”

Highway Code rules are not laws, however many rules included to cross over into legal requirements, so it is important that you follow the guidelines.