I fail to see how going faster (in most cases much faster) than ordinary traffic in an area that was not designed for traffic is safe. When I am in traffic, I check all of the places that an auto can be in relation to my proximity before making a lane change. I cannot tell you how many times a motorcycle has zoomed past me right as I am thinking about committing my lane change. Yes, I had my blinker on, but that is a formality in Los Angeles; they are more of a challenge to cut people off. It's just the basic rules of traffic, when all autos are going the same speed, there is less change of an accident. It is those who are slower or faster that introduce unforeseen variables.
wrong wrong wrong. Look up some studies on this. Everyone travelling the speed limit does NOT make it safer. http://sense.bc.ca/research.htm
And yes, its admirable that you check all of the places before making a lane change. I'm sure motorcycling would be a very safe activity if only everyone else drove like you did. The problem is we have to deal with SUV's, people driving while eating, reading the newspaper, applying makeup, talking or even worse, texting on a cellphone. When you are on a motorcycle you always want to be travelling slower or faster relative to the traffic around you. This helps other drivers see you as a moving object rather than a stationary one, which is much easier to spot.
As a rider, I pay extra attention when I'm driving my car. I always check and double check for motorcyclists when I lane change, and you know what? I've had some pretty close calls and almost cut off some bikers. Sometimes a mirror check and a shoulder check still won't reveal a biker because they can just be that hard to spot.