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What does 'texting' really mean?

You know what texting is, and you may even communicate via text more than actually calling someone on the phone. You also know that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has said that truck drivers cannot text while behind the wheel.

So, when you're hit by a distracted driver, you may think you have a case against the driver for being on his or her mobile phone. The driver, though, may argue that no texting was taking place, so the rule wasn't broken.

In cases like this, it's important to note that the no-texting rules the FMCSA has put in place apply to more than standard texting. Drivers are not allowed to:

-- Read a text message.-- Send an email.-- Use an instant messaging system.-- Open a web page.-- Call someone by pressing more than one button.-- Use any text-based functions at all.

The goal here isn't just to stop texting, but to stop drivers from using their phones and pressing multiple buttons -- for any reason at all -- because this takes their eyes off of the road. It does not matter if the driver was not technically "texting" as the term is commonly used. The rule still could have been violated and the trucker may be at fault in the accident.

If so, you must know what rights you have to financial compensation. Involvement in a truck accident can leave you with high medical costs, permanent disabilities, lost wages and many other issues to overcome. Seeking out proper compensation from an at-fault driver may help tremendously.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "No Texting Rule Fact Sheet," accessed Nov. 22, 2016

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