The amount of ignorance I see in the average motorist while driving my rig would probably make some of you give up on humanity. I say ignorance because there's no shame in that; motorists really aren't taught at all how to deal with trucks. Until I started piloting one, I never knew just how much I wasn't taught.
I can second that sentiment. I was a bus and coach driver for a spell, fairly recently, and the average motorist does not give a thought for the difficulties experienced by drivers of large and relatively heavy vehicles, in today's busy traffic.
2006 Honda Jazz 1.2i-DSi S Vivid Blue Pearl
If you observed the traffic cameras linked earlier, the single exception to the lack of 3 stripes separation is behind an 18 wheeler. It's why I like to tuck in behind them and it's the only place you have the luxury of decent separation. If a car every second passes over the same spot at 55 mph the math (never lies) is 1.47 X 55 feet AVERAGE SEPARATION. Lets say about 82 feet, but that INCLUDES THE VEHICLE.
Now were talking about 50-70 feet. Each stripe in the US is right at 43 feet. Maybe with that math facing you even the most ignorant (no name) should realize that 3 stripes, about 129 feet, is a luxury and in many places where I have driven, the average separation is even worse. If you think not then check out the many areas on the eastern US coast with traffic cameras. VDOT has them all around DC and I have lived and worked there. Used to do route 123, Chain Bridge road, from Tysons Corner to Glebe road in Arlington avoiding the Interstate altogether. 35 mph perfectly timed traffic lights, in my 84 CRX it was good for 50 mpg (averaged 44 for 50k miles) 35 years ago. watching the bumper to bumper crawling traffic on the Interstates going in and out of Washington DC. The Mercedes dealership (still remember the address and phone number) had the customers park on the ROOF of the building. Property values were way to high for ground level parking lots, even for Mercedes Benz customers.
I have always loved driving, still do, but rules and regulations are subservient to survival. A cop once told me that I had to legally sit at an intersection and wait for the idiot to plow into my rear end, at a red light, when i saw it coming. I replied, "That's assault with a deadly weapon, and I have every right to do ANYTHING to defend myself." I do fine explaining that to the judge and have pulled into an intersection when the light was red to keep from getting rear ended on numerous occasions. Once in a 59 Corvette I pulled over into the median and the driver thanked me for my action that prevented HIM from slamming into my rear end. I had enough distance from the car in front of me to pull over, situational awareness and preparation saved me from potential incineration as had happened to an identical Corvette a couple of weeks earlier to a woman, who was fried alive. In another instance I was being tailgated and pulled over into the right lane when the 68 GTO slammed on brakes in front of me (fresh brake job, mechanic road testing the car). The right lane was clear. The Chevelle behind me slammed into the GTO. They found the Chevelle drivers baby under the dash of the car, no child safety seats or 911 back then. I called the police from the nearest business location and waited for the police and ambulance to arrive.
Drafting behind trucks while riding 450cc motorcycles is..... interesting. As you move closer at a certain point, you pick up the buffeting. At you move closer yet, you feel the airflow shedding from either side of the truck in alternating time. The rhythm of the alternating waves of air, rock you left or right. At the same time, your hand has to reduce throttle because low air pressure is beginning to suck you towards the truck. If you get even closer, you are now in front of the alternating shedding airflows & are in a zone of steady air. You really have to reduce cycle throttle, or it would suck you right into the back end of the truck. If you do this for long hours of driving, you're asking to be killed if the truck brakes, or runs over any debris on the road or a truck tire blows out, or lots of other things!
Anyhow, the only following truck, you can reduce your chances of dying in hard braking situations, is behind single axle trucks with smaller front wheels. Their 60mph to 0mph braking distances are longer than tractor trailer trucks.
I remember an internet image of a bike rider with his head implanted in the rear door of the trailer, hanging there dead. Seldom do I bike on the freeways here but never close behind a truck, but you sure get a good feel for the effects of distance behind a truck and the aero drag reduction. I think a good bicyclist has reached speeds of over 80 MPH in a controlled experiment where he pedaled just behind a vehicle with a purpose build wind deflector.
I've had a truck toss a 2 pound rock into the windshield of a car I was test driving, GOING IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION on a two lane road. I always stay to the right side, of the right lane on freeways, but close enough to avoid having another car pull over between us although some still do that since in many cases it's the largest gap between vehicles in a mile of roadway.