Most people who get on a bicycle and ride on the road with motor traffic don't want to get hurt, however according to statistics gathered by John Forrester on factors contributing to injuries and the death of bicyclists, 

in over 50% of the time 
it was the bicyclist who was at fault.

Factors Contributing to
Injuries and Death of Bicyclists
from Effective Cycling Instructor's Manual, Sixth Edition
by John Forrester

Riding a bicycle safely is not rocket science, 
even a kid can do it, but having seen so many injuries one wonders.

Without getting into any long winded dissertation, 
here are the guidelines in the order of priority

1) Ride to be seen - ride on the correct side of the road, be visible (bright clothes and lights)

    Be especially careful riding on east/west roads when the sun is low in the sky.
    Motorist cannot see bicyclists.  Ride exceptionally defensively when visibility is poor.

2) Stay out of the way of motor traffic -  ALWAYS ride as far to the right as practical.

    - Roads with high speed traffic and limited sight distances are not suitable for bicycling.
    - If the road has a shoulder, use it.  Do not ride the fog line.  Dodging debris is better
         than being clipped by a distracted driver.
    - "Take the lane" only when you are sure you have been seen.

3) Follow the rules of the road - bicyclists must obey the same laws as motorist.

    - Use/stay in the proper lanes.  Do not weave through traffic. Do not pass on right
    - Ride in same direction as traffic and obey traffic controls
    - Learn the laws specific to the State in which you are riding.  They differ!

4) Use caution around dogs - the odds are high they will take your bike down

    More bicyclists are injured from hitting an animal than being bitten by one.

5) Take the Bicycle Safety Quiz for bicyclists (children and adults) and motorists.  
     Prepared by the League of Illinois BicyclistsClick Here.

One of the primary roles of Bike/Walk Tennessee is to improve bicycle safety in Tennessee.  Here is an essay Ride Safe written in 2013 by one of its officers.

 Rank Order of Urban Car-Bike Collisions Types
from Effective Cycling Instructor's Manual, Sixth Edition by John Forrester