The Highway Code rule to be aware of while driving in hot weather

A47 and Highway Code

Rule 237 of the Highway Code relates to driving in hot weather - Credit: Archant

Drivers face a number of risks while driving in extreme heat but there is one Highway Code rule you may not know about that could land you in trouble.

A red weather warning has been issued by the Met Office for parts of the UK as temperatures could reach more than 40C today and on Tuesday.

With potentially record-breaking temperatures, a lack of air conditioning or ventilation in vehicles could land motorists in hot water.

The Highway Code states that drivers must ensure vehicles are well-ventilated to avoid drowsiness and should drivers fail to do so and lose control of their vehicle, there is a risk of a fine as it could be deemed as dangerous driving. 

Rule 237 of the Highway Code, relating to hot weather, states: "Keep your vehicle well ventilated to avoid drowsiness.

"Be aware that the road surface may become soft or if it rains after a dry spell it may become slippery.

"These conditions could affect your steering and braking. If you are dazzled by bright sunlight, slow down and if necessary, stop."

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The penalty for dangerous driving can land you with a fine of up to £5,000 and 14 years imprisonment if it results in death. 

According to the AA, driving while feeling tired or drowsy "significantly increases the chance of you committing other offences or causing a collision" due to "impairing judgement and reaction time".

Meanwhile, motorists have been told to try and make their journeys outside of the hottest times of the day, particularly if they have older cars.

Sean Sidley, AA patrol of the year, said: “If it does get sticky on the roads, there’s nothing worse than being stuck in a jam with the mercury rising, so make sure you carry plenty of water – at least a litre per person – and sufficient fuel, or if you’re driving an electric vehicle (EV) make sure you have plenty of charge so you can use the air conditioning when needed.”

According to the RAC, drivers can reduce the chances of vehicles breaking down by ensuring oil and coolant levels are correct, while also ensuring that tyres are free of any damage and are inflated to the correct pressures.