I have to agree with lanesplitter, I feel safer in the "middle" lane between cars. I always keep a watchful eye out for people that aren't paying attention, or young highschool males that like to pop back and forth between lanes because they always think the other is moving faster.
But when traffic is wall-to-wall and the cages can't change lanes, the middle between them is awesome -- there's no way they can hit you because they're stuck where they are. It's awesome, and every state should allow lanesplitting.
Conversely, Cali is one of the highest pedestrian-hit-by-a-car states. Growing up in Philly, cars had the right-of-way, and we dodged them, and no one I know got hit. Here, pedestrians have the right-of-way, and aren't allow to cross the street unless in a designated cross-walk. This leads to many accidents and tickets -- car drivers just can't keep up with people darting off the sidewalk, expecting that they stop immediately. Note that many of the crosswalks here don't have stoplights, and cars/vans/trucks are allowed to park before/after them, shielding pedestrians from view... it's a stupid law, or rather, the enforcement is stupid -- once, I got a j-jogging ticket on a residential road for jogging across the street. $75 bucks, and I lost in court. It was considered a "moving violation" and I had to appeal to the court to have points removed off my driving license.
Anyway, while the law should protect the meak (pedestrians and also avid bicyclists from me) the social code should always be that the person that will sustain the least injuries in an accident gets the right-of-way. When I'm hiking, I give way to equestrions, when mountain biking to equestrians and dirt bikers, and when bicycling/motorcycling on the street, I always cede to cages -- and, indeed I always assume the bloke at the light is going to run the right-on-red into my lane, or make that left-hand turn. About one in 500 times they do, but that's the reason I've never crashed a streetbike/testbike.
Regardless, it's a messed up state, for sure, worse when some yahoo on the air is telling people to run bikers down. I think they should be publically flogged, or paraded around the town square naked. What ever happened to humilation in front of your peers as a deterrent? A good idea, lest we do become that Nation of Jailers HST referes to. ;-)