Vehicular homicide is a lesser charge than manslaughter and involves death that results from the negligent operation of a vehicle, or from driving while committing an unlawful act that does not amount to a felony. Neither malice aforethought nor intent to kill is required in the case of vehicular homicide.
Most states in the U.S. have vehicular homicide statutes. However, Alaska, Montana, and Arizona do not have statutes dealing with vehicular homicide. The laws relating to vehicular homicide have the effect of making a vehicle a potentially deadly weapon so as to allow for easier conviction and more severe penalties. In states without statutes dealing with vehicular homicide, persons may be charged with manslaughter or murder in situations where there is negligent use of the vehicle resulting in the death of others.
The victim of vehicular homicide may be either a pedestrian, another motorist, or a passenger in the offender’s vehicle.