What counts as texting in a commercial motor vehicle?

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You may already know that those who drive commercial motor vehicles are not allowed to text while driving. This is a pretty standard rule that has been laid down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as a way of reducing the risk of accidents.

However, what is crucial to note is that the rule does not just apply to texting, which is a rather specific activity. It also applies to:

-- Entering text into a phone, even if it's not sent.-- Reading a text message that was received.-- Sending a short message.-- Sending or reading an email.-- Viewing or trying to view a web page.-- Sending or reading an instant message.-- Making a call by pressing more than one button.

The rule then goes on to note that drivers cannot engage in any type of electronic entry or retrieval of text. This last is a catch-all to rule out anything not specifically noted, as technology is always changing and new developments and terms are being used.

The important part here is that drivers really can't split hairs, claiming they weren't breaking the rule because they weren't texting. For instance, sending a message on Facebook or Instagram is technically direct messaging, not texting. However, the rule bans all activity of this type -- and much more -- so drivers are best simply to refrain from using the phone at all while driving.

Have you been hurt by a driver who was texting or doing a similar activity while driving, causing a serious accident? If you have, you may be able to sue for medical costs, pain and suffering, future costs, lost wages and much more in Texas. Be sure you know what options you have.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, "New rule: No texting while operating a CMV," accessed Aug. 12, 2016

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