A thorough understanding of the communications channel between vehicles is essential for realistic modeling of Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks (VANETs) and the development of related technology and applications. The impact of vehicles as obstacles on vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication has been largely neglected in VANET research, especially in simulations. Useful models accounting for vehicles as obstacles must satisfy a number of requirements, most notably accurate positioning, realistic mobility patterns, realistic propagation characteristics, and manageable complexity. We present a model that satisfies all of these requirements. Vehicles are modeled as physical obstacles affecting the V2V communication. The proposed model accounts for vehicles as three-dimensional obstacles and takes into account their impact on the LOS obstruction, received signal power, and the packet reception rate. We utilize two real world highway datasets collected via stereoscopic aerial photography to test our proposed model, and we confirm the importance of modeling the effects of obstructing vehicles through experimental measurements. Our results show considerable obstruction of LOS due to vehicles. By obstructing the LOS, vehicles induce significant attenuation and packet loss. The algorithm behind the proposed model allows for computationally efficient implementation in VANET simulators. It is also shown that by modeling the vehicles as obstacles, significant realism can be added to existing simulators with clear implications on the design of upper layer protocols.