Drafting Like a Boss

Watch how this daredevil (helmet? what's that?) bicyclist goes 55 mph by drafting behind a truck. He'd better pray the truck doesn't brake all of the sudden: Hit play or go to Link [YouTube] - via Stuff I Stole from the Internet

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Is it possible for an 18-wheeler to "brake all of the sudden"?

What Is the Stopping Distance of Tractor Trailers?
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Back when I was young and stupid. I did this sort of thing with the whole bike racing team every once in a while. We mostly did it to freak people out seeing a line of 6-8 bikes go flying by you on the highway has a tendency to make them look. You can even draft cars. Which is a little safer since you can see whats ahead of the car.
Chances are the truck driver didn't even know the guy was behind him. They can't see most cars behind them let alone a bike rider.
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@Jimbo the stopping distance is irrelevant. At that distance it's your reaction time that matters. If the truck's brakelights come on at that distance you've hit it before you could even squeeze the brake lever.

I recall some idiot trying to draught the bus I was on a few years ago. He probably wasn't even as close as this guy, the bus driver didn't even brake hard and the cyclist hit the back of the bus. Now he didn't hit it hard, but hard enough to take him down. Whereupon he slid under the rear of the bus. He lost a fair amount of skin, was battered and bruised and received minor burns from the exhaust, but he was lucky. Sliding under the back of a stopping bus is probably preferable to being run over by the following car.

And of course you should always remember that if you can't see the driver of the truck, he can't see you. So he won't be making any allowances for you.

Then there's the other problem with draughting too close. You can't see what the guy in front can see. I recall riding along once at speed when I swerved to miss a serious pothole, only to hear a clattering and swearing behind. A rider of whom I was completely unaware had been slipstreaming me and had hit the pothole good and hard. He lost skin and teeth. And all to take a little effort out of riding.
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