Re: Say what you like about Teslas
Honestly... how do you justify, after several near misses / actual hits, continuing to use a bike? "Out of principle?"
I use a bike for convenience, health, safety and enjoyment factors.
Convenience - actually generally much easier for me to get the bike out and do a job than it is to get the behemoth out. Transporting tons of steel just to go down the local shops? Utter idiocy! Also, since I can lane-split and pass thousands upon thousands of cars stuck in traffic at any one time...
Health - we're talking motorbike here. I actually get stressed and claustrophobic in cars. I have been in one bad and a couple of minor crashes. In quite literally hundreds of thousands of miles of riding over the last 4 decades I've had some close calls and 3 incidents I rate as crashes, although only two of them actually resulted in the bike also stopping and only one resulting in a need to pick the bike back up. While I drive (or am even in a car) I have to manage my anxiety levels and that sort of thing can take a lot of effort. It often takes a few hours for the stress levels to fade when I'm home or somewhere else as well. But with the bike, while I am vigilant I am also much more relaxed. My over-all mental health is far better, and that has obvious benefits for my physical health as well.
Safety - see above. I've done a lot of training and continue to do so. Also, by being a rider and understanding how vulnerable you are I am much more aware of what's going on around me. Get in a head-on with a truck in your car with all the bells and whistles, you'll be just as dead as I am. But I have the advantage of a smaller and more manoeuvrable vehicle. With the right alignment of stars I can even drop it and slide underneath the truck. That said, I've only been in such a situation a couple of times, few people get enough chance to practice head-on avoidance. But if I was to see it coming, I'd have better odds of avoiding it on a bike than in a car.
Enjoyment - see the stresses above, plus I love riding for all the normal reasons people love riding. And I can do it knowing that I pollute far less.
It's also worth noting that in places where buses aren't common, car drivers are blind to buses when they drive through the area. But where push bikes or pedestrians are common, people see them much more easily. Humans have an easier time seeing what they're used to. Observing bikes often programs your mind with all sorts of useful information about how fast they're coming and trajectories and the like. Watch a professional cricketer and you'll see they only need a moment of seeing the bat hit the ball to know where the ball is going to go. See them run for a catch, looking at where the ball is heading rather than looking at where the ball is. They're used to seeing it. I've been able to ride in areas where bikes lane-splitting is very common and in areas where bikes are only seen occasionally. The driving where bikes are common is very different to that where they're seldom seen. Same for buses, trucks, peds, whatever.
Point of that last bit is this : Increase the number of bikes on the road, and you'll increase the safety of bikes on the road. (Also, increase the jail-time for people caught using their phones whilst driving!)