It always amazes me how as a society we are almost willfully blind to the massive carnage caused by automobiles, even as we obsess over things like gun crime and terrorist attacks which are statistically far, far, far, far less likely to affect most of us.
No one is willfully blind to automobile accidents or deaths. The obsession that you cite (gun crime and terrorism) are moral panics largely supported by sensationalist media or by politicians or activists seeking attention for their pet concern. That's not to say that gun crime or terrorism are absent as issues, it's just saying that we are lucky that these things do not really affect us so much here.
Automobiles are essential and integrated means of transportation, and great effort has been expended in order to make that mode of transportation safer. Nevertheless, accidents happen, and some drivers simply choose to behave in a negligent, dangerous or idiotic manner. There is no excuse for such behaviour, and drivers who break the rules of the road should face fines, charges, insurance increases and/or the loss of their license in extreme cases.
This does not give cyclists a pass. I cycle quite often, but I never cease to be amazed at how absolutely stupid some cyclists behave. Red lights mean nothing, stop signs are non-existent, pedestrians are always in their way (as are other cyclists). Some of the sidewalk
behaviour is outrageous. The other day I saw little kids have to jump out of the way in a crosswalk
as a cyclist rode through as if it were her god-given right to do so. I've had cyclists angrily yell at me "watch where you're going" as they've come up behind me
and felt threatened that my movements on a sidewalk
somehow denied them their rights to bolt along that pedestrian route at high speed.
I'm not alone with respect to these experiences.
If anything, the message being transmitted by far too many cyclists is "I'm on a bike, get out of my way."
If cyclists want to be taken seriously on the roads (because we are talking about bikes as a mode of transportation), then they have to drive on the roads and follow the rules of the road - including signaling, stopping at red lights and stop signs and trying to be aware as much as possible of what is going on around them. They should wear a helmet, have a bell, use lights at night and wear at least one piece of light-coloured clothing or reflective gear. Take notice and be noticed.
Unless they are a child, they should not be driving on a sidewalk