Recently, I found out that a guy I worked with a long time ago was murdered in a botched carjacking attempt.
It dawned on me that if a criminal is going to risk a long prison term for armed robbery or murder, he's a lot more likely to go after someone's $50,000 car than my $500 bike. If he wants a bike, it's far easier and less risky get some bolt cutters and steal a parked bike than to put a gun to someone's head.
Also, many motorists become crime victims in parking lots on the way to their cars. Those of us who commute on bikes, however, either park our bikes in our workplaces or very near to the door. For the most part, we step out of our offices, factories or classrooms, get on our bikes and start rolling. Once rolling, a cyclist is a much more difficult crime target than someone crossing a dark parking lot on foot.
When it comes to accidents there are numerous dangers we don't face. Every driver's nightmare is going down a two lane road or street and having an oncoming car cross over into your lane resulting in a deadly head on collision. A cyclist in the same situation would have an easier time of avoiding a direct head on collision even if it means winding up in a ditch. Also, there's the issue of speed. If a car pulls out in front of me and I'm traveling at 20mph and hit it, it's far less likely to be fatal than if I'm driving and a car pulls out in front of me while I'm going 50.
Most of us do not ride our bikes with 20 gallons of explosive shloshing around in our panniers, making the chances of someone being trapped inside their buring Cannondale virtually nil.
The same holds true for another motorist nightmare, driving into a body of water. If I'm forced off of a levee and into the Sacramento river while riding my bike, as long as I can swim, I'm golden, whereas a motorist would face the dillema of getting out of their sinking vehicle before it filled with water.
Any other issues that might make it safer to commute by bicycle than by car?