My personal experience is that bicyclists obey the traffic laws more than car
drivers. Certainly there are bicyclists who do not. But any drive on I-15
where the speed limit is 65mph and road conditions allow, you'll see that
75% or more of drives exceed the speed limit. Any drive through downtown Salt
Lake and you'll see how many drivers speed up to blow through yellow
lights. Any drive where there are pedestrians or bicyclists and you'll see
how many drivers don't yield to either, even when they are in well-marked
crosswalks. Bicyclists need to be better at obeying traffic laws. But the real
threat to life and limb is not a 180 lb bicyclist on a 15 lb bike. The real
threats to life are the impatient, inconsiderate drivers in 3,000 lb autos.
Way ahead of you on the swearing at cyclists part. It's not just the
traffic laws cyclists should be adherent to, but I'd like to see them
acknowledge the laws of physics some times, too. The law (wrongly) puts all the
blame on the motorist because the motorist has legal and financial
responsibility to others. Cyclists, then, using this shield of legal
invulnerability to make motorists responsible for whatever they do, even though
they always lose to a collision with a car. Of course this doesn't mean
motorists shouldn't share the road, although if you look at it from a risk
analysis perspective I don't know why a cyclist would ever want to.
A big problem for cyclists is that traffic lights often are not timed for them.
So for example if a cyclist does not "run" a red light, in all
likelihood the light will have changed while he or she is in the intersection,
and there are plenty of motorists who think such are "open season." I
am a cylcist and it has happened to me plenty of times.
Same problem on Traverse Mountain.
Its really great driving the avenues where, during warm weather, there are a lot
cyclists, including myself. When I am driving, it happens several times a week
that a cyclist decides its their right to run a 4 way, or even worse, 2 way stop
sign right in front of me. I have been half way through the intersection
multiple times just to have to slam on my brakes because a cyclist ran a stop
sign. Like others have said there are bad drivers who also run stop signs, but
when I ride my bike, I am keenly aware of the vehicles around me because I know
who will win, no matter who is right.