IRVING, Texas — San Francisco 49ers defensive end Demarcus Dobbs walked away from a one-vehicle accident on his 25th birthday last month and was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Less than two weeks later, with the NFL rocked by the car crash that killed Dallas Cowboys player Jerry Brown and left his teammate, Josh Brent, facing a manslaughter charge, Dobbs swears he’ll find another way home whenever he does too much partying.

“I’m never going to put myself in that situation ever again,” he said.

This is, of course, exactly what the NFL, its teams and the players’ union wants to hear amid fresh questions about whether all the warnings and safety nets — because players in most of the major sports leagues arguably have more than the general public — will ever be enough to prevent accidents and deaths.

“There’s a lot of pressure being in the NFL ... but it’s no excuse for bad decisions,” Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said. “Players have a lot of options, tools at their disposal, that they need to take advantage of, but it comes down to individuals making good decisions.”

Brown’s death on Saturday and the arrest of defensive tackle Brent after police say he caused the fatal wreck by speeding and driving drunk put the NFL Players Association’s safe ride program back in the spotlight. It was revamped three years ago after concerns that enough players weren’t using it.

Union spokesman Carl Francis said the program is a strong point of emphasis, and every player’s membership card includes the contact information.

CEO John Glavin of Florida-based Corporate Security Solutions Inc., which runs the program, stressed the confidentiality of the program, saying the company doesn’t even tell the union when players call for rides.

Jacksonville cornerback Rashean Mathis, the team’s union representative, said players rarely, if ever, use the program.

“Confidentiality is the problem,” Mathis said. “Guys are going to go out and have fun. We’re just like the regular guy that works a 9-to-5 job. On a Friday night, he goes out and has some beer. It’s not the best-case scenario, but it happens in life.”

To use the program, players can either work in advance to set up a full night with a driver or make a call for a ride home. The brochure says most response times are less than an hour. The program is available all year, and Glavin said his company also serves the NBA and NHL.

In Major League Baseball, designated drivers are available to players and fans through the teams.

Last summer, the NFL held its 15th annual rookie orientation, which includes a number of life skills sessions. The NFL has sessions on issues ranging from guns to alcohol and drug use.

League owners are gathering in the Dallas area Wednesday. The agenda was set to focus in part on player safety through the addition of leg padding, but it’s likely to change.

“I am sure the events of the past two weeks will be discussed at the league meeting,” league spokesman Greg Aiello said.

Several coaches said Monday they were talking again about issues of safety and good decisions after Brown’s death.

They also acknowledged there was only so much they could do, as did Mathis.

“We’re not immune from life because we’re athletes,” Mathis said. “We’re not, but there are smarter choices.”