|I had my own, bizarre car/bicycle/ped incident in rural Iowa|
That said, there are a lot of folks that don't believe cyclists belong on the roads, (they have every right to by law), and some that say cyclists cause a lot of their own issues by disobeying the laws, (some do), but neither excuse holds up and is not worth risking the life of, or maiming forever, a cyclist who stands no chance against distracted drivers, drunk drivers, or self righteous cowards behind the wheel.
Check out this Des Moines Register story with a poignant video interview with Heather Wince and many stats illustrating the issues, at least here in Iowa. There are some silly hoops you have to jump through to see the story, but it is well worth the minor trouble the Register puts you through.
Let's be safe out there and try to continue to work toward safer routes and better educated drivers.