The effects of strain rate on tensile failure properties of human parasagittal bridging veins were studied in eight unembalmed cadavers. While bathed in physiological saline at 37°C, the intact vessel was stretched axially by a servo-controlled hydraulic testing machine at either a low strain rate of 0.1–2.5 s−1 or a high rate of 100–250 s−1. The mean ultimate stretch ratios for low and high strain rates, respectively, were 1.51 ± 0.24 (S.D. n = 29) and 1.55 ± 0.15 (n = 34), and the ultimate stresses were 3.24 ± 1.65 (n = 17) and 3.42 ± 1.38 MPa (n = 20). Neither difference between strain rates was significant (p > 0.45). Thus, our results do not support the hypothesis that sensitivity of the ultimate strain of bridging veins to strain rate explains the acceleration tolerance data for subdural hematoma in primates [Gennarelli, R. A. and Thibault, L. E. (1982) Biomechanics of acute subdural hematoma. J. Trauma 22, 680–686].