So you are saying that removing reflectors, making your bike less visible and ditching a good horn has made your riding safer?
Not at all.. I'm saying that in spite of the above I seem to get into less situations. Not having them seems to have made no difference.
I'm guessing you over reacted to things in the past and are dying towards complacency.
Perhaps I did over react sometimes, but I suspect that for the most part I don't put myself in dangerous situations nearly as often.
The first time I head down to the Tail of the Dragon with the Road Toads a good friend had his modulator on and (I think) his reflective vest on. My friend was fairly inexperienced at that stage of riding. We were in the left lane of a two lane each way interstate going by slower vehicles. He almost got taken out by a bus that moved into his lane. I suspect a little part of things might have been the modulator being mistaken a a "go ahead" signal, but I feel the much greater issue was that he put himself in a dangerous position due to lack of experience. The modulator (and maybe vest) made no difference as it was all about where he had positioned himself. He has since become a very seasoned, capable rider and has ridden all over North America and I know doesn't put himself in positions like that anymore.
Splitting lanes in California on a rented motorcycle with a passenger sounds like complacency to me. I'm also guessing you ride rush hour in Toronto and were not in the rush hour in LA.
Is 8 am on 405 rush hour in LA? That was the last time I rode it. And I have to say that I wasn't aggressive in lane splitting, just following someone else that was doing it and being pretty cautious about it.
I commute in LA and there are days where I'll see three crashes on one commute.
Today my co- worker saw a 16 wheeler flip on it's side.
I don't ride on hwy 401 in Toronto daily, but it is as busy (and often mentioned as busier) than 405 in LA. But the drivers on 401 are angry all the time, whereas it seemed the drivers on 405 were much more relaxed. On 401 they hate that you might get ahead of them while on 405 they seemed not bothered by it.
Perhaps I was just on 405 on good days.