Dave, I agree with most of your points. With one exception. You are saying that many of cyclist decisions are influenced by the fear of getting hit by a car. And I agree with this too. The only question this raises for me is “why do cyclists ignore the fact that they are poorly noticeable participants of the traffic?”.
Most of the drivers are on a lookout for overtaking vehicles from the side opposite to a curb (I live in Ireland and here people drive on the different side of the road). But most of the drivers are not looking for vehicles that might be overtaking them from the curb side. Especially when there is no dedicated bicycle lane. Due to a small size and normal absence of lights (very few cyclists cycle with all the lights on during the day), this makes cyclist unnoticeable to a driver — an unexpected danger.
In addition, at least some cyclists believe that they are being heard by drivers or pedestrians, which is not true at all.
So, this stealthy, silently popping up from nowhere vehicle present a shock for most drivers and provokes rash behavior. And I believe that this is also a reason for many accidents.
In the countries where drivers are used to be on a lookout for cyclists, this behavior will carry on into areas without sufficient infrastructure and will help to maintain safety. As well as will keep cyclists behavior predictable and consistent.