The problem, as I see it, is that there has not been an extensive evaluation of real world crashes in a long time, esp as technology in all aspects of gear has advanced. Though it is appreciated and groundbreaking, even the Hurt study was localized to urban CA. Not much was studied in rural areas.
From the folks I heard from first hand when I was considering my helmet purchase, they had walked away from different accidents with less trauma wearing Snell helmets than DOT only helmets. Of course one crash is never identical to another, but it was the best I had to go with. With everything I have read since, I'm still convinced that I'd rather have a Snell or ECE helmet on in a 13.4mph crash or a 85mph crash.
I do believe the article could be correct on the stiffness ranking, I just don't like the comment that any DOT lid will do, esp with the conjecture that there is no sanctioning system in place for manufacturers. The article should have at least raised the question that a helmet purchase should involve some research on the testing methods as well as proper fit and use and possibly not sugggest that any helmet with a DOT sticker will do.
As in other examples relating to mainstream media, folks seem to latch on to any arguement that says they can take advantage of a lesser requirement. It takes ten or more times repeating the opposite with a ton of hard evidence to persuade folks back the other way.
The weird thing about the motorcycling hobby/sport, also in correllation to cars, is that in other sports, proper gear is a given. It seems that proper gear is secondary when applied to motorcycles, just as seat belts used to be in cars. As an aside, I look forward to a day when a four point seat belt may become commonplace.
The other issue I am skeptical of, in general, is that it has been suggested that some government tests of consumer items, such as cars, may not reflect real life. For example, certain vehicles that preform marginally in crash tests seem to otherwise do very well protecting occupants in sometimes horrific real world collision when you look at insurance bodily injury actuals. Go figure. Please understand that I do relaize that lab procedures have to approximate the real world and cover as many bases as possible.
I think most serious motorcylists agree, which I really like about TWF, that studies of motorcycle dangers on the whole are greatly underfunded in proportion to the number involved in the activity. I'm not for imposing more rules, except for manditory helmets, but even aspects of road construction, signage, training should be investigated as it relates to m/c safety. This was proven out in a recent fatality in this area and the softening of the MSF standards.
Deaths should not be the aspect that brings up the need for improvement.
Have a good one,