U.S. retail gasoline prices fell to an average of $1.791 for regular unleaded as motorists took to the roads for the Christmas and New Year's holidays, the Energy Department (search) said Monday.

The drop represented a 2.4-cent fall from the previous week and U.S. retail gasoline prices have declined for eight weeks in a row.

Even with the fall in prices, gasoline was slightly more than 31 cents a gallon higher than average U.S. retail prices a year ago, according to the Energy Information Agency (search).

While retail prices remained the highest on the West Coast, at $1.956 per gallon, that region also experienced the biggest fall in prices, 3.7 cents a gallon, from the previous week, EIA said.

U.S. truckers were faced with higher diesel fuel costs, as the average price rose to $1.987 a gallon, up from $1.984 last week. This week's average diesel fuel price (search) was also up 48.5 cents from a year ago, EIA said.