bflan, I'm very sorry for your loss. Your family must be devastated, as well as extremely concerned about your new purchase.
You have described two very common motorcycle accident scenarios. Street riding can be very hazardous and it's easy to blame car drivers for their inattentiveness and/or incompetence. But you have a lot of control over your own safety as well. For me it's about managing space. I don't believe that slowing down is always the right approach, but rather using the performance advantages of a bike to get out of potentially dangerous situations. Bikes can out-accelerate and out-brake anything on 4 wheels, and you can put distance between yourself and danger rather quickly, in many cases. I hope you do lots of reading, followed by lots of practice, because skill development is very important. Best of luck.
+1 Well said IMO
Many times in this life it's the greater the risk, the greater the reward.
Motorcycles have broken my body and my heart many times. I once watched a 19 year old boy die in a field of dirt and I watched his dad watch him die. Ride to live, live to ride.
I have one word for beginning street riders: ride invisible (wait! that's....
Anticipate that everybody who can turn left in front of you will
turn left in front of you...ride invisible.
Anticipate that everybody who can pull out in front of you will
pull out in front of you...ride invisible.
Get to the "safe spot," whatever it takes; sometimes passive, sometimes aggressive.