A system for automated traffic accident detection in intersections was designed. The input to the system is a 3-s segment of audio signal. The system can be operated in two modes: the two-class and multiclass modes. The output of the two-class mode is a label of crash or noncrash. In the multiclass mode of operation, the system identifies crashes as well as several types of noncrash incidents, including normal traffic and construction sounds. The system is composed of three main signal processing stages: feature extraction, feature reduction, and classification. Five methods of feature extraction were investigated and compared; these are based on the discrete wavelet transform, fast Fourier transform, discrete cosine transform, real cepstral transform, and mel frequency cepstral transform. Statistical methods are used for feature optimization and classification. Three types of classifiers are investigated and compared; these are the nearest-mean, maximum-likelihood, and nearest-neighbor methods. The results of the study show that the optimum design uses wavelet-based features in combination with the maximum-likelihood classifier. The system is computationally inexpensive relative to the other methods investigated, and the system consistently results in accident detection accuracies of 95% to 100% when the audio signal has a signal-to-noise-ratio of at least 0 decibels.