Traffic laws are a way of communication with the others that share the lane. When I find myself riding in a dangerous situation, I normally start what I call defensive riding.
My point is that the bicycle driver is the last safe driver at the road. So, the driving rules do not protect them as they should. This depends on the country. And of course, of the way that the citizens care about bicycle riders...
The most important thing is to make yourself visible to the other drivers. So, dress with a reflective suit. That would also, protect you from dust and other things that might happen during the ride. And specially, to direct the drivers' vision to yourself preventing accidents. At night, wearing lights would also help.
Where space is not available for bike riders, I use to drive at the opposite lane. Yes, it sounds crazy, but consider that I could watch all the vehicles that are approaching and take measures beforehand. There, rules change. I am not only standing away of the driver's rules but I have to acknowledge that nobody is expecting to find me coming from that direction. I should then, be very cautious at every corner or at any change of the normal lane.
Knowing all that, I find it safer than letting other cars and buses crush me like a sandwich because the are not watching when I am passing by. Or cars that use the power of their engines to do big accelerations compared with my small efforts when lights change.
People should consider bicycles for normal driving. And make special driving rules for bicycles that would allow a fair competition on the road shared with more powerful vehicles.