Wow, I leave for a few days and this turned into a huge debate!
I agree that inattentive driving is a huge problem! Lots of people are killed, or kill others or animals due to negligence.
However, most motorcycle people I've seen (with the exception of some braindead stunters) recognize that, at the very least, motorcycling is a dangerous activity which should occupy a majority of one's attention. The punishment for failure is usually death, so I feel this serves as a good incentive.
That said, we all do stupid shit on bikes. Personally, I scratch my nose, speed, look down at my instruments, enjoy the scenery, look for signs, ride at night, ride some sketchy roads, use headphones, pull over on narrow shoulders, ride in shitty weather, etc etc. I consider myself pretty safe because I try to only do one stupid thing at a time. I don't ride without full gear, even down the street. Other people decide the risk they're willing to take differently than I do. I trust that they're adults who can make their own decisions.
I'd like to get back on track and away from this debate. I am super busy riding Death Valley with Pete and his friend Nip currently, so updates will have to wait a bit, but here's a teaser from a "road" we went down today!
So not a road...