Do All Truck Toppers Need a Brake Light?

When it comes to truck toppers, there are a few things you need to consider to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment. But one thing that might not be on your mind is whether or not the topper needs its own brake light. So, do all truck toppers need a brake light?

All truck toppers need a brake light. Not only is it the law in most states, but it’s also a safety measure that helps keep you and other drivers safe on the road. Without a brake light, other drivers might not know when you’re slowing down or stopping, which could lead to a dangerous situation.

This post will explore why a brake light is necessary when you have a truck topper. I’ll also mention a few best practices for keeping yourself safe on the road. Keep reading to learn more!

MANDALUYONG, PH - NOV 22 - Chevrolet Colorado storm pick up break light at SM Megamall on November 22, 2018 in Mandaluyong, Philippines.

Reasons Truck Toppers Need a Brake Light

Brake lights are more than just a decorative feature on a truck topper. In fact, there are several reasons why you should make sure your topper has a brake light. Here are a few of the most important ones:

A Brake Light Alerts Other Drivers When You’re Stopping

One of the main reasons you need a brake light on your truck topper is so other drivers know when you are stopping. Without a brake light, they might not realize you’re slowing down until it’s too late.

That’s especially important if you have a large topper or carry a lot of cargo. The extra weight can make it harder to stop quickly, so it’s essential that other drivers are aware to avoid a potential accident.

A Brake Lights Helps To Avoid Getting Rear-Ended

Did you know that rear-end collisions account for about 29% of road accidents that result in severe injuries and deaths in the United States each year? A brake light on your truck topper can help prevent these accidents, helping you stay safe on the road.

If you don’t have a brake light, the driver behind you might not realize you’re slowing down or stopping. That could lead to a severe accident.

Besides, a brake light is much cheaper than getting your topper repaired or replaced. So, it’s worth the investment for peace of mind and safety.

A Brake Light Improves Visibility in Bad Weather

Bad weather can make it difficult for other drivers to see you, so it’s essential to have a brake light on your truck topperThat way, they’ll be able to see you stopping even in the worst conditions.

That said, here are a few tips that may come in handy the next time you’re driving in bad weather:

  • Slow down and allow extra space between you and the car in front of you.
  • Use your low beams when visibility is reduced.
  • Don’t use your high beams, as they can glare off of the water on the road and make it harder for other drivers to see.

Here’s an excellent video that will come in handy if you need tips for using low beams:

Having a Brake Light Is Complying With the Law

When operating a vehicle on public roads in the United States, it’s essential to comply with all federal laws. One law that applies to all vehicles is the requirement to have a working brake light, and that includes truck toppers.

If you’re pulled over by law enforcement and found not to have a working brake light on your topper, you could be subject to a fine. To avoid this issue, ensure your topper has a functioning brake light before heading out on the road.

By taking that simple precaution, you can help ensure that you are in compliance with the law and avoid any potential problems.

Key Takeaway: At the end of the day, having a brake light on your truck topper is a safer way to drive. Not only does it help you comply with the law, but it also helps other drivers see you stopping. That could prevent a severe accident.

So, if you’re wondering whether or not you need a brake light on your truck topper, the answer is yes!

General Safety Tips for Driving With a Truck Topper

Now that you know why it’s crucial to have a brake light on your truck topper, let’s look at some general safety tips for driving with a topper.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Ensure the Topper Is Securely Fastened

Before heading out on the road, it’s essential to ensure your topper is securely fastened. If it’s not, there’s a risk that it could come loose and fall off while you’re driving.

To avoid this issue, check the topper’s mounting brackets and straps to ensure they are tight and secure.

Inspect Your Topper Before Each Trip

In addition, it’s a good idea to regularly check the topper for any signs of wear or damage. If you see anything that concerns you, have the topper inspected by a qualified professional before hitting the road.

Here are a few crucial areas to check:

  • The mounting brackets and straps for signs of wear or damage.
  • The topper’s finish for any signs of fading or wear.
  • The construction for any signs of corrosion or rust

If you take the time to inspect your topper regularly, you can help ensure that it stays in good condition and doesn’t pose a safety risk while driving.

Don’t Overload Your Topper

Your topper is designed to carry a certain weight, so be sure not to exceed that limit. Overloading your topper can put stress on the structure of the topper itself, as well as on the mounts that attach it to your truck. That can lead to damage or even failure of the topper, which could result in an accident.

Besides, if you’re carrying more weight than your topper is designed for, your truck will likely have a hard time making it up hills or accelerating.

To avoid these potential issues, check your topper’s weight limit before loading it up.

Use Tie-Downs To Secure Cargo if Necessary

Another essential safety tip is to use tie-downs when loading items into the truck topper. That will help prevent items from shifting around while driving and potentially falling out of the topper.

Here are some handy tips for using tie-downs:

  • Use ratchet straps rather than rope, as they are much more robust and less likely to fail.
  • Always use at least two straps per item, and more if necessary.
  • Position the straps so they go over the center of gravity of the item. The center of gravity is the point where the weight of an object is evenly distributed.
  • Ensure the straps are tight enough so that the items can’t move but not so tight that they damage the items.

If you need a tie-down, I recommend this Sunferno Ratchet Straps Tie Down (available on It features a heavy-duty design for maximum strength and durability, making it an excellent option for securing heavy cargo in your truck topper. Besides, it has a convenient release mechanism for easy removal.

I recommend reading my other guide on locking a truck topper from the inside. You’ll learn DIY methods to secure your truck topper and why you need to do it.

Color image with a car's rear brake light.

The Bottom Line 

A brake light on a truck topper is a vital safety feature for the following reasons:

  • It helps other drivers know when you are stopping.
  • It can help avoid getting rear-ended.
  • It makes you more visible in bad weather.
  • It helps you comply with the law.
  • It makes driving safer.

If you’re unsure about whether or not your topper has a brake light, be sure to check before heading out on the road. And, if you don’t have one, consider having one installed. It could save your life.