What Washington Wildlife Your Car Might Hit This Fall 

Car Insurance
September 09, 2023
A moose in the middle of the road with a line of cars behind it

It’s not always just a collision with other motorists that might leave you concerned about whether or not you have the proper auto insurance. Sometimes it’s the Evergreen State’s wildlife that can have a major impact on your finances. 

Between one million and two million collisions between large animals and vehicles occur annually in the U.S. In Washington state, the tally includes costly wildlife collisions with at least 5,000 deer and 200 elk every year. 

These kinds of accidents may or may not result in serious injury to a driver or passengers. But it always involves vehicular damage of some kind. Some accidents will end in a total loss. At the very least, the repairs are costly. Wildlife collision prevention starts with knowing what you’re up against. Always drive defensively to avoid the diverse Washington wildlife hazards and carry the right kind of car insurance to help you pay for damages, just in case 

Wildlife on the Roads in Washington 

In addition to the previously mentioned deer and elk, here are some of the large wildlife on the roads that you hope your car doesn’t ever hit this fall and beyond. 


These aren’t large beasts, so you’re probably looking at more of a fender bender than a major collision, but coyotes thrive all over Washington state. Today, you can find them in and near major population areas. So, stay alert to the risk while behind the wheel, wherever you’re headed. 


You’ll find these beautiful animals in remote wilderness areas of northeast Washington. Remember, wolves travel in packs, so if you manage to avoid one crossing the road, stay alert to the possibility of others right behind it. 


Yes, we have some big cats in Washington state—more of them than you might think. Cougars can be found in forested regions throughout Washington, and there are more than 34,000 square miles of such greenery here. 

Mountain Goat 

No surprise to find mountain goats here, especially in the mountainous regions of Washington. That mostly means the Cascade Range, but a relative few make it to the Blue Mountains, in the southeast part of the state, their home. In all, there are between 2,400 and 3,200 of them in Washington. Male mountain goats can grow to 180 pounds, so, yeah, that’s a fairly costly crash. 

A black bear crosses the road as a car crests the hill

American Black Bear 

Big black bears weighing as much as 300 pounds call Washington home. And lots of ‘em. Somewhere between 25,000 and 30,000 black bears live here. While they prefer heavily forested lands, constant land development has brought them even into suburban areas of the state. 

Trust us, colliding with a black bear during your morning commute will be more of an eye-opener than that first cup of coffee. 

Grizzly Bears 

If you think a collision with a black bear might be your worst day behind the wheel, consider the grizzly. At up to 600 pounds for an adult male, it’s twice the size of the American black bear. Fortunately, you won’t see many of them on the road. They’re principally found in the Selkirk Mountains of northeast Washington, and only infrequently there. 

Grizzlies are considered an endangered species in this state, so be careful not to make them even more endangered. 


We saved the best (worst?) for last. Moose will cause severe collision damage. These animals can stand up to six feet tall at the shoulders and weigh more than 1,000 pounds. That would feel like hitting a tractor. Most of the 5,000 moose here live in the Selkirk Mountains, but smaller populations can be found in the North Cascades, the Blue Mountains, and Okanogan County. 

Auto Insurance Coverage for Wildlife Accidents 

Fortunately, there are auto insurance policies custom-made for wildlife accidents (and other calamities). It’s called comprehensive coverage. While your collision benefits will cover costs related to a collision with other vehicles and property, comprehensive protects against car theft, vandalism, and such unexpected threats as hitting a moose. 

Add roadside assistance to your benefits package and you’ll get 24/7 assistance no matter where or when your animal collision in Washington occurs. A quick phone call sends you a technician who can change a tire, recharge a battery, or tow your vehicle: whatever form of assistance you need for your crippled ride. 

Remember to stay in your car, if possible, after hitting a large animal. An injured moose or bear can do a lot of damage and seriously injure you. 

Reach Out for Cheap Car Insurance in Washington 

Hopefully, your biggest wildlife threat on the road this fall will be a darting squirrel (which you hopefully manage to miss). But your moving targets in this state can grow much taller and heavier than that. Take the threat of wild animal collisions in Washington seriously. 

Discuss your financial protection options by calling Vern Fonk Insurance at (800) 455-8276. You can also get a quick quote online or find a Washington office and agent near you