Since I can't post to the NTP thread, here are my rwo cents on topic:
1. Never assume that drivers can see you, even if you are right in front of them, decked out like an xmas tree. Betweensun angles and distracted driving, you're easy to miss.
2. Even if they do see you, never assume that they'll do the right or obvious thing.
3. Even if you have the right of way, that doesn't mean you should take it (due to 1 and 2) without checking first.
4. Be alert, look ahead and ride defensively. Better to hit the brakes once too often than once to rarely.
5. If riding in a paceline, never cross wheels, always, always look at the wheels@in front of you. If you need to eat/drink, pull out of the line.
6. Adjust your riding to the road conditions, I.e. account for slick roads due to rain, pull up in construction areas.
7. wear a road id. Carry a cell phone.
Im sure there's more, but these have kept me upright over the years (knock on wood!)
everyone is posting about cars and bikes and that is a valid concern but other reasons for bike crashes have nothing to do with other motor vehicles.
1. the road surface, meaning if are large road seams and rain grates and such and you are not going perpendicular to either the seam/crack/grating then if your tire going into them it could get caught cuasing a crash. in other words keep your head up and always be lookign 2-3 seconds ahead of where you currently are.
2. the white and yellow painted lines on the ground are sometime slightly more slipperly than the bare asphalt whicn its dry outside, and when it RAINS OR THE ROAD IS WET they are extremly slippery to almost the same as ice so try to avoid putting the power down fast when going over painted lines and avoid making sharp turns when going over them slow down beforehand so that you aren't going as fast and don't hydroplane over them.
3. gravel and other loose material when they resurface roads, make for a very slipperly surface and can easily cause even experienced bike racers to fall, in other word treat it like you are mtb and take care and be careful
4. other riders. cars are not the only thing that can be erratic, you have other cyclists that frankly can't and don't follow the rules of the road, or they may be bad bike handlers and can't really ride straight and may literlly turn into you and such and run into you, be aware of other riders and make sure you are a safe distance from people you do not know, don't try to ride inches from people like in the tour de france with people you are not familiar with on a bike path or any path for that matter.
5. user error as in keep your bike maintained, sometimes crashes are avoidable by chekcing over your own bike and making sure its in good working condition and such and that everything is good. if you crash because your brakes/handlebars/seat are loose because you didn't check them over before a ride or don't know how to adjust them it and could have been prevented.
6. user error in that you may have judged a corner wrong and are going to fast or such, crashes happen because sometimes its plain old user error such as not using the brakes properly by grabbing them too hard causing a skid and such, or not using them enough and having too much speed and not being able to make a turn and crashing into something on the otehr side of the lane, etc. in other words you have to work on your own bike handling skills and ride within your limits regarding how much speed you can turn with, etc.
but probably the best tip for avoiding crashes is pay attention to what you are doing 100% of the time when on the bike, meaning yes you should be focussed on what your surroundings are 100% of the time when riding on open roads, there is no multitasking, you have pay attention.
But then who's going to update my Facebook status?