Local Business Determined to Help Educate Teen Drivers

Bob Nielsen is the president and owner of R.C. Nielsen Insurance Services in Fair Oaks and has been a Farmers Insurance agent for 30 years. He’s also a husband, a father, and a friend to many people in the community.

He is very committed to keeping a healthy balance between his personal life and business. With more than 10,000 policies in force, Nielsen’s team of 12 employees is busy providing clients with the best possible protection at a competitive cost, whether it’s for auto, homeowners, business/commercial, workers’ compensation or life insurance.

“I treat it [the company] like a sports team,” says Nielsen, a member of the highly-respected, international Million Dollar Round Table association. “My motto is to keep it fun and keep it fair. We are competitive, we like to win, and a lot of that winning is how we act in our community and what we give back.”

Over the years, Nielsen has been very active in the community and continually supports Loaves and Fishes, Red Cross and March of Dimes. He has three children, ages 20, 24 and 28, and has made it a point to be very involved in supporting youth programs, including coaching soccer teams for many years.

Having worked in the industry this long, Nielsen has unfortunately seen many teenagers suffer from car accidents, including one who became paralyzed and others who lost their lives. He has a strong passion for helping new drivers understand the risks of being behind the wheel and wants to do whatever he can to help educate them.

“The number one cause of accidents is distraction,” says Nielsen. “It used to be the tape player and now it’s the iPod or the iPhone.”

As a piggyback to Farmers’ You’re Essential to Safety (Y.E.S.) driver education program, Nielsen offers teenagers a chance to earn $200 if they don’t have any tickets or at-fault accidents in a three-year period. He gives them his cell phone number for any situation where they are in need of a ride and provides the new driver with an accident kit that includes a whistle and a camera.

When they leave Nielsen’s office, the teenager has successfully completed the Y.E.S. program — they’ve watched a powerful movie where teens share the devastating results of bad decisions, discussed the laws relating to curfews and driving with friends, taken an online quiz and signed an agreement with him.

“My passion for helping teen drivers and their families stems from a personal experience in which a friend’s son was killed due to reckless driving,” says Nielsen. “What it put the family through was devastating. At the time, the helpless feeling I had in not being able to do enough for the family motivated me to enhance our Y.E.S. program. I feel that today more than ever, teens are needing extra incentives and motivation to stay safe on our dangerous roads. It is important for them to understand the depth of the choices they make when getting behind the wheel.”